Wednesday07 December 2022

New Material Found That Could Revolutionize The Way CPUs and Other Computer Components Are Made

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As companies race towards smaller and faster processors they continually run into a problem. This problem is one of current leakage. As the process used to make the individual transistors shrinks current leakage grows. There have been many concepts presented to combat this leakage some of which have been successful such as AMD’s SOI (Silicon on Insulator), Intel’s High-K Metal Gate and Tri-Gate Transistors. These work fairly well down to 28nm, but start to become less efficient at 22nm and below. Most agree that to move forward with smaller transistors a new material is needed.

Starting about 8 years ago the search for a new material to make computer chips (not just CPUs) intensified. We have watched as massive leaps in usability for Graphene, Carbon Nanotubes and even circuits at the molecular level have been shown off by various universities and research teams. Now there is a new contender

for 2D (single molecule depth). Researchers at MIT have taken a material that was once used as an industrial lubricant and turned it into a possible contender for graphene. This material is Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).

What makes MoS2 so exciting is that it is easier to ramp up production than with Graphene or Carbon Nano Tubes. The material has been in use as a lubricant for a long time and teams at MIT have already found a viable way to make large sheets of the new material. MIT has already been able to produce a variety of components with this including a NAND gate and a ring oscillator. For many other materials the move from discovery to implementation has taken much longer adding another tick mark in favor of MoS2 over other more exotic materials (for now).

But MoS2 has even more benefits to technology including being transparent. This means that it could be used in displays every easily reducing weight and power requirements. It could also be combined with other materials to produce light. When you add some of the possibilities together you could potentially build an entire touch display on a glass surface without increasing the weight or thickness noticeably. It would even be possible to build a HUD (Heads up Display) for a set of eye glasses making Google’s Goggles look like fossils. As with all new materials there is a lot of work to be done on MoS2 before it is ready for anything close to mass production. Still the speed in which this material has gone from discovery to working circuits is both impressive and encouraging.
Source Nano Letters
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Last modified on Friday, 24 August 2012 16:04

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