IBM Dumps Silicon; Favors Faster Miniature Chips Made with Carbon Nanotubes

By CIOReview | Wednesday, October 7, 2015

FREMONT, CA: It’s been years now that engineers are trying to maneuver ways to make headway in transistor segment for faster processing of computers. It is in this hazy work flow process, that IBM shows light by rolling out Carbon Nanotubes. which replaces silicon chipswith its much smaller and faster ultra-powerful, ultra-efficient 1.8 nanometer chips.

The new advancement is now concentrating on building transistors using carbon nanotubes ready to take over from silicon transistors soon after 2020, and it does so by shrinking carbon transistors without affecting any of its performance. Carbon has been chosen as the ideal solution to replace silicon because of its tendency to move electrons in a 10 times faster more faster way.The general chip transistors uses the element silicon, which takes advantage of different circumstances under which it either uses electricity or it doesn’t. But the Carbon nanotube sports this new “semiconductor” nature giving it a flexibility to act as on-off switches capable of processing data. IBM now paves a way to connect those nanotubes with the rest of microprocessor, so as it can conduct electricity when in it is in the “on” state. It has also now figured out a way to bond with each end of the nanotube to the metal molybdenum. All these helps in the making of the tiny chip circuitry into a possibility as each bonds are very small and compact.

IBM researchers had to forego traditional contact schemes and invented a metallurgical process akin to microscopic welding that chemically binds the metal atoms to the carbon atoms at the ends of nanotubes. This ‘end-bonded contact scheme’ allows the contacts to be shrunken down to below 10 nanometers without deteriorating performance of the carbon nanotube devices.