|With transistor sizes being reduced to sub 45nm ranges, we have seen an improvement in speed, better performance, and deeper integration of digital circuits. However, there has been a corresponding increase in power consumption, along with greater energy dissipation. The reason is because of increased leakage current in the channel. A proposed solution is a shift towards high-k materials and metal gate from poly-silicon gate of yesteryear. Reduced feature sizes also suffer from greater parametric process variations during lithography and cause identical circuits to behave differently.
With high-k technology overshadowing bulk technology ever since transistor sizes hit 45nm, a greater understanding of how the properties of high-k technology will affect digital devices especially their speed, power consumption, and energy dissipated upon voltage scaling is needed. Also, a better estimation of effects of parametric variations on circuits designed in high-k technology can provide valuable information which can be used to improve current designs.