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Carbon Transistors Promise More Speed and RAM Capacity

By - Source: TAU | B 35 comments

The chronic shortage of RAM in smartphones due to space and power constraints could be solved by replacing silicon transistors with carbon transistors.

If claims made by scientists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) are to be believed, the transistors consisting of C60 molecules (the name is derived from a 60 carbon atom structure) can be built in a smaller sizes and could operate much more efficiently.

Elad Mentovich from TAU found that other than silicon transistors, his C60 transistors can both store and transfer energy and do not need the capacitor that is required for a silicon transistor. The result would be more room for transistors and reduced energy consumption. According to Mentovich, the carbon transistors could be built as small as 1 nm and manufactured on today's manufacturing equipment.

"When this new technology is integrated into future devices, you will have much more memory on your smartphones and tablets, approaching the level of a laptop," Mentovich said. "With that kind of memory, you'll be able to run applications simultaneously, and because it is low voltage, power consumption will fall and battery life will be longer." There was no information on the potential performance of the C60 transistors.

The next phase of the research is to find a production fab that will actually produce the transistors.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , July 19, 2012 5:50 PM
    Don't tease me, bring it to life. I want my 4 gig smartphone already.
  • 12 Hide
    Horhe , July 19, 2012 6:34 PM
    Instead of more memory I'd like more battery life. I don't need a phone with 8 GB of RAM whose battery lasts only a day.
  • 11 Hide
    Kami3k , July 19, 2012 6:04 PM
    Can't wait for carbon and graphene to be used more and not just hear stories about them! Seems like a great time to be alive for a nerd!
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    spartanmk2 , July 19, 2012 5:12 PM
    Cool story!
  • -8 Hide
    brett1042002 , July 19, 2012 5:15 PM
    bro
  • 14 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , July 19, 2012 5:50 PM
    Don't tease me, bring it to life. I want my 4 gig smartphone already.
  • 5 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 19, 2012 5:55 PM
    I can't wait until tech like this comes to market. The pace of research just keeps accelerating and given the average ~10-15 year turnaround to market, we are going to start seeing some awesome advancements / new products at an ever increasing rate.
  • 11 Hide
    Kami3k , July 19, 2012 6:04 PM
    Can't wait for carbon and graphene to be used more and not just hear stories about them! Seems like a great time to be alive for a nerd!
  • 5 Hide
    freggo , July 19, 2012 6:22 PM
    Wondering who will have the first 1TB phone, and when :) 
  • 12 Hide
    Horhe , July 19, 2012 6:34 PM
    Instead of more memory I'd like more battery life. I don't need a phone with 8 GB of RAM whose battery lasts only a day.
  • -9 Hide
    derekullo , July 19, 2012 7:04 PM
    Wouldn't the carbon just float away when it gets hot?
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , July 19, 2012 7:08 PM
    Is graphene flammable?
  • -5 Hide
    master_chen , July 19, 2012 7:09 PM
    An I the only one who lol'ed hard when read
    Quote:
    (TAU)

    ?
  • -9 Hide
    f-14 , July 19, 2012 7:10 PM
    HorheInstead of more memory I'd like more battery life. I don't need a phone with 8 GB of RAM whose battery lasts only a day.

    stop watching porn on your phone and quit playing games and get back to work.
    every phone i've had lasts for over 36 hours before needing a recharge.
  • 1 Hide
    nitrium , July 19, 2012 8:05 PM
    Quote:
    Is graphene flammable?

    No. Not even slightly. It is the same material used in standard pencils (leads). Try and get that to burn. Even a blow torch as no effect!
  • 1 Hide
    heffeque , July 19, 2012 8:22 PM
    derekulloWouldn't the carbon just float away when it gets hot?

    This made me laugh. I guess/hope you're just fooling around, right?
  • 7 Hide
    jwcalla , July 19, 2012 8:43 PM
    There's a chronic shortage of RAM in smartphones?
  • 2 Hide
    azgard , July 19, 2012 8:54 PM
    Would like to see some number's on power consumption, most of the power consumption of FET's come from the gate leakage, from what little I read it sound's like the new construction method along with the carbon itself will vastly improve that, with silicon as lithography processes have gone smaller power consumption has remained relatively static due to balancing lower voltage requirements with increased current consumption. And why this focus on RAM? Solid state storage using this technology will finally signal the end of over 6+ decades of magnetic disks for primary storage.
  • 2 Hide
    blazorthon , July 19, 2012 9:03 PM
    derekulloWouldn't the carbon just float away when it gets hot?


    No, the carbon would not float away. You're thinking of carbon's molecules with oxygen.

    WyomingKnottIs graphene flammable?


    You might be able to get it to burn at extremely high temperatures and in very high oxygen environments (might need pure or almost pure oxygen), but not in any situation that's even remotely likely with use of it in electronics. If you're asking this question because of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, well from what I know of them, they are generally made by burning chemicals that have carbon in them, not burning carbon itself.
  • -3 Hide
    blazorthon , July 19, 2012 9:04 PM
    HorheInstead of more memory I'd like more battery life. I don't need a phone with 8 GB of RAM whose battery lasts only a day.


    Then buy an extended battery. Amazon often has them for dirt cheap for a wide variety of phones and my Evo 4G Android phone lasts two to three days of heavier usage with it and much longer with light usage.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , July 19, 2012 9:10 PM
    nitriumNo. Not even slightly. It is the same material used in standard pencils (leads). Try and get that to burn. Even a blow torch as no effect!


    I did that once with a lighter. It wouldn't burn, but after a minute or two with a lighter, a piece of .7mm lead from a mechanical pencil did explode. It left a few very small scorched holes in a carpet that was a few feet away and the holes had little pieces of graphite shrapnel. Admittedly, it was far from being my brightest idea and could have had much worse results. However, like you're saying now, it didn't actually seem to burn the pencil lead. i'm not sure of why it exploded, but if I had to guess, there might have been impurities that caused it.
  • 3 Hide
    that man , July 19, 2012 10:15 PM
    When last I checked (admittedly, a decade ago), C-60, or Buckminsterfullerene ("Bucky Balls") was not possible to manufacture. It could be detected in trace amounts when burning various fuels, if I remember correctly, but it was only a minute percentage of various other forms of resultant carbon, all mixed together. Does there now exist a way to manufacture and isolate economically feasible amounts of C-60?
  • 2 Hide
    blazorthon , July 19, 2012 10:47 PM
    that manWhen last I checked (admittedly, a decade ago), C-60, or Buckminsterfullerene ("Bucky Balls") was not possible to manufacture. It could be detected in trace amounts when burning various fuels, if I remember correctly, but it was only a minute percentage of various other forms of resultant carbon, all mixed together. Does there now exist a way to manufacture and isolate economically feasible amounts of C-60?


    We've been able to manufacture graphene, fullerenes, nanotubes, etc. etc. for quite a while now, granted this might not be the easiest/cheapest thing to do. I don't know if it is economically feasible, but we've been improving with this sort of work very much and it might be. If transistors made from them can be produced on current fab's technology like these scientists claim, then it would seem that we can manufacture them fairly well.
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