Heading to 5.9 nanometers gates in 2026 and new tunneling transistor designs and materials

The 2012 Semiconductor Industry roadmap is forecasting that gates will be just 5.9 nanometers long in 2026. There will be big issues to overcome in terms of handling the leakage from tunneling electrons.

Tunneling FETs (TFETs) would be an option to magnify and use the tunneling as part of the design. Tunneling is already used in flash chips but new TFETs would need to use different materials. There is a lot of research on new tunneling FETs that is described in IEEE Spectrum.

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