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3D III-V Transistors Could Enable Lighter Notebooks

The scientists believe that indium-gallium-arsenide could some day replace silicon as it has superior electron flow characteristics. Materials like indium-gallium-arsenide, which are referred to as III-V materials because they combine elements from the third and fifth groups of the periodic table, could make electron flow more efficiently and enable thinner and lighter computing devices in the future.

"Industry and academia are racing to develop transistors from the III-V materials," said Peide Ye, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue. "Here, we have made the world's first 3-D gate-all-around transistor on much higher-mobility material than silicon, the indium-gallium-arsenide." Details of the invention are currently shown at the International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington, D.C.

"Once you shrink gate lengths down to 22 nanometers on silicon you have to do more complicated structure design," Ye said. "The ideal gate is a neck-like, gate-all-around structure so that the gate surrounds the transistor on all sides."

He believes that 14 nm chip designs are still possible with silicon, but any further shrinks are likely to require a new material. "Nanowires made of III-V alloys will get us to the 10 nanometer range," he said.

  • LuckyDucky7
    "Once you shrink gate lengths down to 22 nanometers on silicon you have to do more complicated structure design," Ye said.

    Smaller that 14 nm using silicon? YE SHALL NOT PASS!
    Reply
  • memadmax
    And que the Apple lawsuit in
    5.
    4.
    3.
    2.
    1...........
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  • shreeharsha
    Silicon was found everywhere, but now China will have even more power with rare materials found there
    Reply
  • stingstang
    Oh thank GOD we may have a new way to make laptops more portable! I was beginning to think we were never going to find the answer to this ever-elusive answer...
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  • nottheking
    shreeharshaSilicon was found everywhere, but now China will have even more power with rare materials found thereFortunately, microprocessors and other semiconductor manufacturing doesn't make use of rare earth Lanthanides; rather, metalloids and post-transition "poor metals" are what are used. (silicon and arsenic are metaloids, while indium and gallium (along with aluminum) are "poor metals." However, other parts still require rare earth metals, such as HDDs. On the bright side, SSDs do not.
    Reply
  • ojas
    Interesting, seeing that intel's already planned their 10nm procs for 2016...i wonder what they're planning to use? If tri-gate is anything to go by, they already have their theory in place (they started developing/planning tri-gate in the 90s).

    But, good thing they're developing usable GaAs semiconductors finally...
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  • xx_pemdas_xx
    By the time this technology becomes usable, 8 threaded applications might be around. Thus making the bulldozer worth it (even though money wise it already is).
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  • willard
    shreeharshaSilicon was found everywhere, but now China will have even more power with rare materials found thereOff topic, but China kind of screwed itself out of the market with rare earths. When they decided to stop shipping them to drive up prices, we started looking for other supplies. Turns out the shit collects on the sea floor near volcanic vents after being carried up from the Earth's mantle, and there's a deposit in international waters that has more of the stuff in a square kilometer than all known deposits worldwide combined, including China's.

    Within a the next several years, expect the prices on rare earth minerals to crash when seafloor mining ramps up.
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  • mcd023
    since the cpu is one of the lightest components, how will that make it lighter? maybe more portable by using less energy?
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  • ksampanna
    mcd023since the cpu is one of the lightest components, how will that make it lighter? maybe more portable by using less energy?
    CPUs become smaller, meaning cores fit into a smaller space, leaving the rest for a possible SoC (System on Chip), meaning ROM/RAM, cache, gpus, chipset, etc are all on the same silicon, negating the need for them to be discreet, thus saving actual physical weight. Also lesser power demands mean smaller batteries needed.
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