Big Blue boffins have made another breakthrough in their development of carbon nanotube technology, by stuffing 10,000 transistors made of the stuff onto a single chip.
IBM wants to make computing devices and sensors which which are smaller and more energy-efficient and will replace silicon. It will take a billion transistors based on carbon nanotubes to fit onto one chip for it to be worthwhile, however 10,000 is a significant step. So far no one has managed to get more than a few hundred working. IBM Research physical sciences chief Supratik Guha said that at extremely small nanoscale dimensions, they outperform transistors made from any other material.
But there are challenges to address such as ultra-high purity of the carbon nanotubes and deliberate placement at the nanoscale. Guha said that IBM has made significant progress in both. IBM has made a well-performing carbon nanotube transistor with sub-10nm channel lengths, at this scale silicon does not work.