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Sillicon may get replaced for indium-gallium-arsenide in chips

ico

Super Moderator
Staff member
Can't see this happening on a major scale. Silicon is the 2nd most abundant element in the Earth's crust.

We'd need other viable alternatives or advancements.
 

AcceleratorX

Youngling
Superior electron flow would only matter when leakage currents and heat issues are significant. What the scientists are actually getting is that they created a nanostructure engineered for better electron flow.

Note that "better" here means unobstructed by physical barriers like a molecule blocking the path and the like. The most significant effect of this is less heat generation.
 

dashing.sujay

Moving
Staff member
Wikipedia said:
GaAs is so high that a corresponding layer would be only a few micrometers thick and mechanically unstable.
Silicon is a pure element, avoiding the problems of stoichiometric imbalance and thermal unmixing of GaAs.
Silicon has a nearly perfect lattice, impurity density is very low and allows to build very small structures (currently down to 25 nm). GaAs in contrast has a very high impurity density, which makes it difficult to build ICs with small structures, so the 500 nm process is a common process for GaAs.

Wikipedia said:
Due to its arsenic content, it is considered highly toxic and carcinogenic

And yeah, availability will be an issue, making it more expensive; but lets hope its other features may balance the pricing but still not as Si IMO.
 
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