Saturday, December 9th 2006

MIT researching the replacement of silicon for transistors

MIT researchers estimate that in roughly 10 to 15 years, we will hit a wall when it comes to increasing the performance of silicon. And so MIT got funding from Intel and began designing the next transistor material. Indium gallium arsenide, or InGaAs, is so far a very promising candidate. It moves electrons several times faster then silicon, does so in a 60nm transistor, and at a much lower voltage (.5 volts). Such promising material is much more fragile then silicon, which may cause problems during manufacturing. Intel, one of the sponsors of the project, is absolutely thrilled with the current results of the project.
The 60-nanometer InGaAs quantum-well transistor demonstrated by Professor del Alamo's group shows some exciting results at low supply voltage (e.g. 0.5 volts) and is a very important research milestone.
MIT will show off what it has at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting on December 11. MIT predicts that it will have working transistor prototypes using the new technology in 2 years.

Source: CNET
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5 Comments on MIT researching the replacement of silicon for transistors

#1
Alec§taar
Gallium Arsenide I had heard about, a decade ago... it does have a faster "0/1" switching state than silicon does, but has some drawbacks from what I recall, in that in working w/ it there is SOMETHING extremely hazardous about it (poisonous hazmat stuff)...

APK
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#2
gamer210
I also have heard that Gallium Arsenide is more expensive to produce. I thought that Silicon Germanium was just as effective as Gallium Arsenide, but it was cheaper to produce.
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#3
tofu
Wasn't Intel investing in research for the application of Carbon Nanotubes?

And now wtf are they doing with something that is poisonous, hard to manufacture :wtf:
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#4
overcast
What happened to IBM's new Silicon Germanium transistor technology? It was demonstrated like 6 months ago. They had them operating at 500Ghz under extreme cooling and 350Ghz at room temperature.
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#5
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
overcast said:
What happened to IBM's new Silicon Germanium transistor technology? It was demonstrated like 6 months ago. They had them operating at 500Ghz under extreme cooling and 350Ghz at room temperature.
That was a single transistor. Having millions of transistors (a CPU) run at 350GHz is still impossible and that won't change for a long time.
Also I believe it was longer than 6 months ago :)
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