Stories tagged transistors


GrapheneCourtesy Carbophiliac

Graphene is great

Graphene is a single atom thick layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb like arrangement (read more about graphene here in

Graphene transistors are the fastest

Transistors are like valves that can turn the flow of electricity off and on. Computers can use transistors and logic circuits to solve all kinds of problems. These problems can be solved faster if the transistors can turn on and off faster. Transistors made out of graphene now can switch on and off 100 billion times per second (100 GigaHertz). State-of-the-art silicon transistors of the same gate length have a switching frequency of about 40 GigaHertz.

IBM develops next-generation transistors

IBM just announced their breakthrough in the magazine Science.

Uniform and high-quality graphene wafers were synthesized by thermal decomposition of a silicon carbide (SiC) substrate. The graphene transistor itself utilized a metal top-gate architecture and a novel gate insulator stack involving a polymer and a high dielectric constant oxide. The gate length was modest, 240 nanometers, leaving plenty of space for further optimization of its performance by scaling down the gate length. ScienceDaily


Graphene transistor tiniest ever

Graphene from graphite: Graphene is one layer of carbon atoms linked chickenwire-like within graphite. Mattman723 / CC BY-SA 2.5
Graphene from graphite: Graphene is one layer of carbon atoms linked chickenwire-like within graphite. Mattman723 / CC BY-SA 2.5
Only one atom thick and less than 50 atoms wide, these "nano" transistors are the smallest in the world. Graphene transistors originally produced at the end of 2004 were very “leaky”. Transistors are like a valves, controlling the flow of an electric current. If they cannot be totally turned off, the leakage results in drained batteries.

Leakage problem solved

Now the Manchester team has found an elegant way around the problem and made graphene-based transistors suitable for use in future computer chips.

Graphene remains highly stable and conductive even when it is cut into strips of only a few nanometres wide.
All other known materials - including silicon - oxidise, decompose and become unstable at sizes tens times larger.
Professor Geim does not expect that graphene-based circuits will come of age before 2025. DailyTech

Professor Andre Geim and Dr Kostya Novoselov from The School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester reveal details of these transistors, in the March issue of Nature Materials.

Want to read their news releases?


Moore's Law breakthrough.

Moore's law: Doubles every 2 years

Silicon Valley has reached the limit for using silicon dioxide in computer chips. To shrink microprocessors to the 45 nanometer scale, Intel is using a high-K hafnium dielectric material and a secret mixture of metals that allow twice as many transistors to fit in the same space. Moore's Law states that the number of transistors in a microprocessor will double every two years.

How small can we go?

Four hundred of Intel's 45nm transistors could fit on the surface of a single human red blood cell. The period in this sentence could hold two thousand. Intel will release its new family of processors named Penryn this year. Their quad-core chip will contain 800 million transistors.

Want to learn more?

Intel press release
Intel 45nm Transistor fun facts (PDF 39KB)
Video explaination of 45nm production