Monday, January 30th 2012

IBM Creates 9 nm Transistors Using Carbon Nanotubules

Researchers at IBM have developed the smallest carbon nanotubule transistor, that is 9 nanometers (nm) across. In comparison, the smallest transistors possible using silicon is 10 nm across. IBM claims its new transistor consumes less power while being able to carry more current than today's technology.

"The results really highlight the value of nanotubes in the most sophisticated type of transistors," says John Rogers, professor of materials science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "They suggest, very clearly, that nanotubes have the potential for doing something truly competitive with, or complementary to, silicon." Currently, the smallest production-grade transistors are 22 nm across.

The success of 9 nm carbon nanotubule transistors potentially extends the life of conventional electronics as we know it, as it breaches the 10 nm limit of silicon transistors. "If nanotubes can't go much further than silicon, then working on them is a waste of time," says Aaron Franklin, a researcher at the IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. "We've made nanotube transistors at aggressively scaled dimensions, and shown they are tremendously better than the best silicon devices." The research team, however, is faced with development hurdles. Manufacturing large batches of carbon nanotubules that function as semiconductors is difficult.Sources: TechnologyReview.in, Engadget
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8 Comments on IBM Creates 9 nm Transistors Using Carbon Nanotubules

#1
Completely Bonkers
I'm less interested about 9nm vs 12/15nm silicon, than about switching speeds and current leakage. If carbon nanotube transistors can switch faster than silicon or can run at lower power/heat loss, then they are a win irrespective of scaling to a smaller size.
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#2
Drone
Nice. Carbon nanotube is graphene rolled up in a tube. Theoretically that thing's limit is ~ 3 nm or something. So maybe oneday we'll get 3 nm technology. Still a long way to go to get to quantum tunnelling (1 nm and smaller)
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#3
R_1
Yes, but those carbon nanotubes are grown separately and then embedded on a substrate with some fancy manipulator. It probably can build one transistor at a time, so 2 billion of them should take long time to assemble.
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#4
Benetanegia
by: Completely Bonkers
I'm less interested about 9nm vs 12/15nm silicon, than about switching speeds and current leakage. If carbon nanotube transistors can switch faster than silicon or can run at lower power/heat loss, then they are a win irrespective of scaling to a smaller size.
I agree, but last time I checked and iirc they were only able to create carbon nanotube structures the size of hundreds of nm. I don't rememer the actual size, but I do remember the difference was so big compared to current silicon processes that they were not small enough to create anything even close to a modern processor, of any type. The fact they have been able to catch up or even surpass silicon is amazing.
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#5
NC37
If it advances us towards Chobits then I say...DO EEET!!!!!! :D
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#6
Benetanegia
by: R_1
Yes, but those carbon nanotubes are grown separately and then embedded on a substrate with some fancy manipulator. It probably can build one transistor at a time, so 2 billion of them should take long time to assemble.
lol they will not create them one by one. Far from it. They already demostrated a working RF chip 1-2 years ago, created with existent silicon manufacturing equipment. So on one hand they can already create them with the same process that silicon transistors are made, but those are/were large*. On the other hand, they can create 9 nm ones "one by one" (not really though) and have demostrated their viability/superiority and that it's posible to go smaller. At some point, soon hpefully, the two technologies will converge into something usable.

* Considering they were using very old equipment it's posible that they could go smaller than what they did, only that's the equipment they used back then.
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#7
Steevo
There is always a breakthrough at the right wrong time, just like there was with doped silicon. Hopefully one of these advancements will pan out to be the next greatest thing.
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#8
WarraWarra
Beautiful finally IBM gets it, bit late but finally. :toast:

Okay next step is to use the protein based nano tubes material that doubles as heatsink if used as pcboard material, aluminum replacement, space construction material (that can be produced on demand and scaled during space travel) to build 3D nano tube grids similar to Intel tri-gate just not as primitive.

I guess I have to spoon feed even this to Intel and IBM again :banghead:

O well .....
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