Move over silicon, there's new transistor material in town

Discussion in 'Technology News' started by saipothuri, Dec 10, 2006.

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  1. saipothuri

    saipothuri New Member

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    Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plan to present research on transistor technology next week that they hope will jumpstart a new development phase in tiny electronics beyond the iPod and the cell phone.

    MIT engineers estimate that silicon transistors, essential to gadgets like iPods, phones and kitchen appliances, will hit a wall in terms of size and performance within the next 10 to 15 years. So MIT, among others, is working with new composite materials it hopes will be able to reliably outpace the conducting speed of silicon.

    One such material is indium gallium arsenide, or InGaAs, a material in which electrons travel many times faster than in silicon. MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) recently demonstrated InGaAs-fabricated transistors that can carry 2.5 times more current than the latest silicon devices. The transistor was only 60 nanometers, or billionths of a meter long.

    The benefit could lead to smaller devices that can process information more quickly.

    "Each of us has several billion transistors working on our behalf every day in our phone, laptop, iPod, car, kitchen and more," said Jesus del Alamo, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and member of the MTL.

    "We are looking at new semiconductor materials for transistors that will continue to improve in performance, while devices get smaller and smaller," he said in a statement.

    MIT's work will be presented at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting December 11.



    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9584_22-6142252.html
     
  2. iMav

    iMav The Devil's Advocate

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    and our syllabus will continue teaching this silicon for another 20 yrs ....
     
  3. blackpearl

    blackpearl The Devil

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    This isn't new. Alternatives to silicon exist since a long time. Semi conductor materials like GaAs and AlGaAs has been in use for long in optical devices because of the faster switching action they require. They were not used in place of silicon in devices like processors simply beacause they don't require such fast tranisitors. The new InGaAs is just another of the x-GaAs family. Silicon will continue to dominate the IC industry untill the need for very high speed devices arises.
     
  4. QwertyManiac

    QwertyManiac Commander in Chief

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    QFT

    But all this jargon of CE/CB/CC stuff, bah, I flunk in Elec. Devices :p
     
  5. Apollo

    Apollo "Technologic"

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    Absolutely, slow learners as we[the system] are.
     
  6. aditya.shevade

    aditya.shevade Console Junkie

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    lol....Quite right actually since we are still learning vacuum tube diodes and triodes instead of silicon transistors... (really).. I mean it's required to have knowledge of those aslo, but you must at least include new things na?

    Out education system sucks in many ways....

    Aditya
     
  7. nightcrawler

    nightcrawler Member

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    Alternative for silicon based transistors have been there since long. Its good to see that they have finally started using it.

    And regarding teaching old syllabus...the concept of the transistor remains the same wheather you use silicon based transistor/ vacuum based transistors or InGaAs transistors...so I guess there should be no question about ours being old syllabus
     
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