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Universal Transistor Could Enable Much Smaller Circuits

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December 21, 2011 1:34:01 PM

Beam me up Schottky!
December 21, 2011 1:34:05 PM

can someone translate this? whats the possible effect on humans life?
December 21, 2011 1:45:55 PM

geeze, smaller FET = smaller embedded system, lower current leak, such as smaller replacement organs, monitors so on
December 21, 2011 1:46:30 PM

That's pretty awesome. Means that circuits can re-configure at a hardware level. Multi-use chips for all your needs.
Now, THAT"S something that is worth a patent!
December 21, 2011 1:46:48 PM

Okay, I studied ASIC design in college. It was actually my specialization, though I'll admit I was never able to land a job in ASIC design. But still, I took those classes through the 500 level, most of the way to a masters and created functioning silicon. I know every word mentioned in there. I'm familiar with every concept mentioned. And yet, it all sounds like gibberish. n-type and p-type are determined by their substrate. n-type, negative charge. p-type, positive charge. The difference between n-type and p-type is if you apply a positive charge to the gate to turn it on, or apply a negative charge to the gate to turn it on. But historically, p-types are extremely large on silicon, and as such, takes up a lot of real estate, so because of that though CMOS is ideal for leakage speed, nobody uses them, because they're too expensive to produce. Everybody strictly uses n-type transistors. How are you changing the transistor type without fundamentally changing the charge of the substrate. I mean, hell, it'd be a big enough of an advancement just to make a p-type that's the same size as an n-type, and to hell with them switching.
December 21, 2011 1:48:09 PM

Lord Captivus said:
can someone translate this? whats the possible effect on humans life?


I'm not 100% sure on this, but the basics are that if this works, any electronic device that relies on transistors could be manufactured cheaper and smaller becuase of not needing to include current switching technology. In other words, future devices like various PC components can be made even smaller and more efficient. How much? That I do not know.
December 21, 2011 1:53:04 PM

lord captivuscan someone translate this? whats the possible effect on humans life?


Basically, better power use and less lose of power in electric components.
December 21, 2011 2:05:04 PM

lord captivuscan someone translate this? whats the possible effect on humans life?

The satisfying knowledge of a job well done.
December 21, 2011 2:09:57 PM

The article tells you what you need to know: "could lead to smaller semiconductors that require far fewer transistors than today's devices"

Be a proactive reader, not passive, no matter how bland the material is.....
December 21, 2011 2:39:48 PM

Could this lead to much higher levels of storage or will it really only affect efficiency and speed?
December 21, 2011 3:03:32 PM

Did anyone else read the title of the article as, "Universal Translator Could Enable Much Smaller Circuits."

I was a bit confused, but it makes sense now. lol

▄██████████████▄▐█▄▄▄▄█▌
██████▌▄▌▄▐▐▌███▌▀▀██▀▀
████▄█▌▄▌▄▐▐▌▀███▄▄█▌
▄▄▄▄▄██████████████▀
December 21, 2011 3:43:05 PM

gmarsackDid anyone else read the title of the article as, "Universal Translator Could Enable Much Smaller Circuits."I was a bit confused, but it makes sense now. lol


I did.
December 21, 2011 3:53:57 PM

What a Universal Translator? I don't have to learn Klingon now?
December 21, 2011 4:02:35 PM

GreaseMonkey_62What a Universal Translator? I don't have to learn Klingon now?


SoH DIchDaq ghoj tlhIngan joq Hegh!
December 21, 2011 4:32:03 PM

lamorpaThe satisfying knowledge of a job well done.


I'm not sure why, but I laughed. Thank you sir.
December 21, 2011 4:34:58 PM

cyprodthough CMOS is ideal for leakage speed, nobody uses them, because they're too expensive to produce. Everybody strictly uses n-type transistors.


I'm not sure where you studied, but this is false. In modern digital IC's, CMOS is absolutely used. The industry abandoned pure NMOS and pseduo-NMOS back in the early 80's due to power concerns and switching characteristics. In general, yes, you get better drive strength, etc. with NMOS vs. PMOS due to the differences in electron vs. hole mobility, thus leading to the sizing disparity you cited. But that difference is a fact that digital IC designer have lived with for 30+ years. To say that no one uses p-type transistors is crazy.

cyprodHow are you changing the transistor type without fundamentally changing the charge of the substrate.


You need to read the article closer. The novel advance is not relying on dopant concentrations to determine p-type vs. n-type. Instead, they are relying on a mechansim to modulate the charge carrier injection directly at the Schottky junction. In other words, they have a structure which allows the device to change whether electrons or holes are the majority carriers directly at the junction, thus determing whether it is configured as n-type or p-type.
December 21, 2011 6:21:37 PM

gmarsackDid anyone else read the title of the article as, "Universal Translator Could Enable Much Smaller Circuits."I was a bit confused, but it makes sense now. lol
▄██████████████▄▐█▄▄▄▄█▌██████▌▄▌▄▐▐▌███▌▀▀██▀▀████▄█▌▄▌▄▐▐▌▀███▄▄█▌▄▄▄▄▄██████████████▀

Yep, I saw that too...
December 21, 2011 7:45:33 PM

memadmaxSoH DIchDaq ghoj tlhIngan joq Hegh!

I just fed that into Google translate - it didn't recognize it.

Google, a Klingon translator would make a great easter egg.
December 21, 2011 9:01:33 PM

"Future work will focus on improving the transistor's performance."

Why don't they work on massproducing what they have, if it's already superior to existing technology? I keep hearing about supposedly revolutionary things being developed, but nothing ever gets released. If it is too expensive to manufacture such radically different technology, then they should research improved manufacturing processes.
December 21, 2011 11:20:51 PM

cyprodOkay, I studied ASIC design in college.


you studied current technology which is silicone based where band gap is created by doping of adjoint areas. current research is exploring other technologies such as use of nanowire, with goal to eventually move from silicon to carbon.

you may have proper education but you either don't know how to read or your claims are inaccurate and you have no idea what "intrinsic" semiconductor is. read closer - this transistor is still made from silicon but uses nanowire and there is NO DOPING, they use INTRINSIC silicone. no distinct areas of different material are persent. this 'p' and 'n' is NOT p and n, it only ACHIEVES CHARACTERISTICS of p or n...

http://www.sinano.eu/data/document/tyndall-341-nnano.pd...
December 22, 2011 12:25:27 AM

memadmaxSoH DIchDaq ghoj tlhIngan joq Hegh!

What? My mother was a saint! Get out!
December 22, 2011 2:42:25 AM

a few questions come to mind, will it be cost effective? will they be able to make it perform as well as current transistors. heat, speed, efficiency?
December 22, 2011 3:18:54 AM

Kindly note the article title specified "could enable" which has a different meaning from "enables". There was no speculation whether this can actually be used for a circuit or that it is commercially viable. If folks are wild to fund something promising, just let me know. I have some really nice pixie dust and for the right funding I will promise you anything. As a heads up, pixie dust works best with government money. The use of other people's money fosters a broader vision.
Anonymous
December 22, 2011 10:10:52 AM

It seems like this stuff could get much wilder than just having smaller circuits. Sounds like they could reprogram the logic the gates are using so that they're suddenly doing different computations. Maybe in your Arithmetic Logic Unit you could have 6 general units that can be configured to compute either floating point or integer operations rather than having 3 fixed FPUs and 3 fixed IUs. And graphics cards have some programmable things like shaders or something, but this could take it to another level.

Anyone have any idea how the program gates work? Do they use positive & negative voltages these days rather than positive and ground? Man, I need to restudy the old college books & learn lots of new things!
December 22, 2011 11:11:17 AM

Klingon translator :-)

http://uta.mrklingon.org/uta

"SoH DIchDaq ghoj tlhIngan joq Hegh!" => "you shall learn Klingon or death"

Happy xmas to ya'll!
December 22, 2011 1:02:33 PM

cyprodBut historically, p-types are extremely large on silicon, and as such, takes up a lot of real estate, so because of that though CMOS is ideal for leakage speed, nobody uses them, because they're too expensive to produce. Everybody strictly uses n-type transistors.


Where have you been during the last 30 years? CMOS has been the technology used for microprocessors.
December 22, 2011 1:08:53 PM

cyprodOkay, I studied ASIC design in college.....



no you didn't...
no offense but your post is plain ridiculous and i don't think i've read anything like that in a long time. if that's sort of thing you would say on an interview, no wonder you could not land a job. replies from 'eilersr', 'ik242' and 'aldaia' are right on the money. you can't read, you don't understand article, you are not familiar with concepts and if you really graduated somewhere, there must have been some serious error.

- there is no P and N in technology described in article, they used I type (intrinsic)
- CMOS is not some obscure technology, it is used (a lot... cameras, logic, discrete transistors)
- P-type may be used less than N-type, but to say that 'nobody uses it' is a complete nonsense

... or companies making or selling following must be throwing money out of window;
http://ca.mouser.com/Search/Refine.aspx?Keyword=p-mos
February 21, 2012 1:52:41 PM

"replies from 'eilersr', 'ik242' and 'aldaia' are right on the money"

I must admit, i didn't understand most (if any :(  ) of the article, but i did find it fascinating. Also thanks to the comments by the people named in the above quote i understand quite a bit more. I honestly felt i was trying to understand something Daniel Jackson was trying to tell me :) 

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." -Albert Einstein
!