Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


College of Engineering


Tina Smilkstein

Advisor Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


The processors and digital circuits designed today contain billions of transistors on a small piece of silicon. As devices are becoming smaller, slimmer, faster, and more efficient, the transistors also have to keep up with the demands and needs of the daily user. Unfortunately, the CMOS technology has reached its limit and cannot be used to scale down due to the transistor's breakdown caused by short channel effects. An alternative solution to this is the FinFET transistor technology, where the gate of the transistor is a three dimensional fin that surrounds the transistor and prevents the breakdown caused by scaling and short channel effects. FinFET devices are reported to have excellent control over short channel effects, high On/Off Ratio, extremely low gate leakage current and relative immunization over gate edge line roughness. Sub 20 nm node size is perceived to be the limit of scaling the CMOS transistors, but FinFETs can be scaled down further because of its unique design. Due to these advantages, the VLSI industry has now shifted to FinFET in implementation of their designs. However, these transistors have not been completely opened to academia. Analyzing and observing the effects of these devices can be pivotal in gaining an in-depth understanding of them.

This thesis explores the implementation of FinFETs using a standard cell library designed using these transistors. The FinFET package file used to design these cells is a 15nm FinFET technology file developed by NCSU in collaboration with Cadence and Mentor Graphics. Post design, the cells were characterized, the results were analyzed and compared with cells designed using CMOS transistors at different node sizes to understand and extrapolate conclusions on FinFET devices.