Atomically thin material could cut need for transistors in half

Atomically thin material could cut need for transistors in half

With the development of carbon nanotubes and graphene, scientists were given an entirely new collection of materials to work with: sheets and tubes that could be consistently made with thicknesses roughly those of individual atoms. These materials hold the promise of building electronic devices with dimensions smaller than is currently possible through any other process and with properties that can be tuned by using different starting materials.

So far, most of the attention has gone to re-creating new versions of familiar devices. But a new paper by a group of researchers in Shanghai looks into what can be done if you’re not constrained by the sorts of devices we currently make in silicon. The result is a device that can perform basic logic in half the transistors silicon needs, can be switched between different logical operations using light, and can store the output of the operation in the device itself.

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Intel stockpiling 10nm chips, warns that 14nm shortages will continue

Intel stockpiling 10nm chips, warns that 14nm shortages will continue

Intel Skylake die shot, built using the 14nm process. (credit: Intel)

In its earnings conference call, Intel has warned that chip shortages are set to continue into the third quarter of the year, However, the company has also said that its 10nm manufacturing process is improving faster than anticipated and that it will be able to sell more 10nm chips this year than previously predicted.

Intel’s troubled migration to its 10nm manufacturing process has had many consequences in the wider computing industry. Gartner and IDC both say that some of the shrinkage of the PC market is due to a lack of processors, and companies such as Microsoft have stated that their financial performance would have been better were it not for the shortages. Intel was expected to be building a wide range of mainstream processors on its 10nm at this point, reducing the pressure on its 14nm facilities.

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