Prestigious Women Researchers Lecture Series | Montserrat Nafría: 'Variability and reliability in nanoelectronics: mitigation and exploitation'

The extraordinary capabilities of the chips that drive the electronic systems that are part of our daily lives are a consequence of the performance of the devices in which they are made, whose dimensions are in the nanometre range. However, these devices suffer from high variability, which has a negative impact on the reliability of the chips in which they are embedded. This talk will present the current challenges that nanoelectronics faces in characterising, modelling and simulating this variability, from two complementary points of view. On the one hand, the mitigation of the effects of this variability, necessary to ensure the reliability of the chips, and, on the other hand, its exploitation in security applications, for the hardware generation of cryptographic keys. Some examples of methodologies for the mitigation or exploitation of this variability will be presented.


Montserrat Nafría is a professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Her main research area is the reliability of electronic devices and circuits. She is currently working on the characterisation and modelling of the time-dependent variability of CMOS devices of advanced technological nodes, for the development of integrated circuit  reliability simulators.

Her expertise is being extended to other emerging technologies, such as memristors for neuromorphic applications, graphene-based devices and thin-film transistors for flexible electronics. She has authored or co-authored over 400 research papers in scientific journals and conferences and has served on the technical committees of major conferences in the reliability and device fields, such as IRPS, INFOS and ESSDERC.