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Patent Issued for Semiconductor Device and Method of Operating the Semiconductor Device

February 12, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Gyeonggi-do, KR) has been issued patent number 8638163, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Kim, Ho-jung (Suwon-si, KR); Chung, U-in (Seoul, KR); Shin, Jai-kwang (Anyang-si, KR).

This patent was filed on July 17, 2012 and was published online on January 28, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present disclosure relates to semiconductor devices and methods of operating the semiconductor devices.

"Graphene is a material that includes carbon atoms formed in a hexagonal lattice in a monolayer. Chemically, graphene is very stable, and has semiconductor characteristics in that a conduction band and a valence band are overlapped only at one point, that is, at a Dirac point. Also, graphene has a charge mobility that is very high.

"Thus, there is a demand for semiconductor devices including a graphene transistor and a method of efficiently operating the semiconductor devices including a graphene transistor."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Provided are semiconductor devices including a graphene transistor and a method of efficiently operating the semiconductor devices including a graphene transistor.

"Additional aspects will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the presented embodiments.

"According to an example embodiment, a semiconductor device includes a voltage generator which generates a test voltage, a graphene transistor which receives a gate-source voltage based on the test voltage, and a detector which detects whether the gate-source voltage is a Dirac voltage of the graphene transistor, and output a feedback signal applied to the voltage generator indicating whether the gate-source voltage is the Dirac voltage.

"The detector may detect whether the graphene transistor is off, and if the graphene transistor is detected as being off, the detector may detect the gate-source voltage as the Dirac voltage.

"The detector may detect whether the graphene transistor is turned off based on at least one of a drain-source voltage and a drain-source current of the graphene transistor.

"If the feedback signal indicates that the gate-source voltage is not the Dirac voltage, the voltage generator may modify the test voltage.

"The voltage generator may include: a voltage regulating unit which generates the test voltage based on data stored in a storage unit; and a storage regulating unit which regulates the data stored in the storage unit based on the feedback signal.

"The voltage regulating unit may include a first variable resistor and a second variable resistor, and is configured to generate the test voltage based on a ratio of a first resistance of the first variable resistor and a second resistance of the second variable resistor, and the voltage regulating unit may determine the ratio of the first resistance and the second resistance based on the data.

"During a detection period, the storage regulating unit may modify the data such that the test voltage increases periodically.

"The detection period may start based on an enable signal, and may end when the feedback signal indicates that the gate-source voltage is the Dirac voltage.

"The enable signal may indicate a start of the detection period based on at least one of a manufacture time, a power on time, and an initialization time of the semiconductor device.

"The graphene transistor may be formed in a first region including graphene, and the voltage generator and the detector may be formed in a second region which does not include the graphene.

"The semiconductor device may further include a signal converter that is formed in the second region, and receives an input signal from the second region and outputs an output signal obtained by converting the input signal, wherein the output signal is supplied to the first region.

"The input signal may include an off voltage and a power voltage, and the signal converter converts the off voltage into the Dirac voltage, and converts the power voltage into an operational voltage of the graphene transistor.

"According to another example embodiment, a semiconductor device includes a voltage generator which generates a first test voltage, a graphene transistor which receives a first gate-source voltage based on the first test voltage, and a detector which detects whether the first gate-source voltage is a Dirac voltage of the graphene transistor, and which outputs a first feedback signal to the voltage generator, the first feedback signal indicating that the first gate-source voltage is the Dirac voltage, if the graphene transistor is off.

"If the first feedback signal indicates that the first gate-source voltage is not the Dirac voltage, the voltage generator may generate a second test voltage, and the graphene transistor may receive a second gate-source voltage based on the second test voltage, and the detector may detect whether the second gate-source voltage is the Dirac voltage of the graphene transistor, and output a second feedback signal to the voltage generator, the second feedback signal indicating that the second gate-source voltage is the Dirac voltage, if the graphene transistor is off.

"According to another example embodiment, a method of operating a semiconductor device including a graphene transistor, includes: generating a test voltage; applying a gate-source voltage to the graphene transistor based on the test voltage; detecting whether the gate-source voltage is a Dirac voltage of the graphene transistor; generating a feedback signal indicating whether the gate-source voltage is the Dirac voltage; and determining whether to modify the test voltage, based on the feedback signal.

"The detecting whether the gate-source voltage is a Dirac voltage of the graphene transistor may include: detecting whether the graphene transistor is turned off or not, by applying the gate-source voltage to the graphene transistor; and if the graphene transistor is detected as being turned off, detecting the gate-source voltage as the Dirac voltage.

"The test voltage may be generated based on data stored in a storage unit.

"The determining whether to modify the test voltage, based on the feedback signal, may include: when the feedback signal indicates that the gate-source voltage is not the Dirac voltage, modifying the data stored in the storage unit; and modifying the test voltage based on the modified data.

"The method may further include: converting an input signal received from a second region; and supplying, to a first region, an output signal obtained by converting the input signal, wherein the first region is where the graphene transistor is formed.

"The input signal may include an off voltage and a power voltage, and the converting the input signal may include: converting the off voltage into the Dirac voltage; and converting the power voltage into an operational voltage of the graphene transistor.

"According to another example embodiment, a semiconductor device includes a graphene transistor having a gate-source voltage that is based on a test voltage, a voltage generator configured to generate the test voltage which varies in response to a feedback signal, and a detector. The detector configured to detect whether the gate-source voltage is a reference voltage; and output the feedback signal to the voltage generator indicating whether the gate-source voltage is the reference voltage. The reference voltage may be a voltage level where a conductivity of the graphene transistor is a minimum."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Kim, Ho-jung; Chung, U-in; Shin, Jai-kwang. Semiconductor Device and Method of Operating the Semiconductor Device. U.S. Patent Number 8638163, filed July 17, 2012, and published online on January 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=51&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2509&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140128.PD.&OS=ISD/20140128&RS=ISD/20140128

Keywords for this news article include: Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd..

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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