IBM re­veals car­bon nan­otube break­through

Daily Trust - - IT WORLD -

IBM has re­vealed a break­through in cre­at­ing tran­sis­tors us­ing car­bon nan­otubes.

They say it could rev­o­lu­tionise the way com­put­ers are made, and re­place sil­i­con.

The car­bon chips are set to be dra­mat­i­cally faster, smaller and more pow­er­ful.

Sil­i­con tran­sis­tors, tiny switches that carry in­for­ma­tion on a chip, have been made smaller year af­ter year, but they are ap­proach­ing a point of phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tion.

With Moore’s Law run­ning out of steam, shrink­ing the size of the tran­sis­tor - in­clud­ing the chan­nels and con­tacts - with­out com­pro­mis­ing per­for­mance has been a vex­ing chal­lenge trou­bling re­searchers for decades.

As de­vices be­come smaller, in­creased con­tact re­sis­tance for car­bon nan­otubes has hin­dered per­for­mance gains un­til now.

These re­sults could over­come con­tact re­sis­tance chal­lenges all the way to the 1.8 nanome­ter node - four tech­nol­ogy gen­er­a­tions away.

Car­bon nan­otube chips could greatly im­prove the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of high per­for­mance com­put­ers, en­abling Big Data to be an­a­lyzed faster, in­creas­ing the power and bat­tery life of mo­bile de­vices and the In­ter­net of Things, and al­low­ing cloud data cen­ters to de­liver ser­vices more ef­fi­ciently and eco­nom­i­cally.

Car­bon nan­otubes are a rolled-up form of graphene, which are some­what sim­i­lar to Sil­i­con since they both have band gap and can be used as the cen­ter piece of the tran­sis­tor - the chan­nel.

Sil­i­con tran­sis­tors, tiny switches that carry in­for­ma­tion on a chip, have been made smaller year af­ter year, but they are ap­proach­ing a point of phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tion.

With Moore’s Law run­ning out of steam, shrink­ing the size of the tran­sis­tor - in­clud­ing the chan­nels and con­tacts - with­out com­pro­mis­ing per­for­mance has been a vex­ing chal­lenge trou­bling re­searchers for decades.

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