Faster CPUs one step closer

A major breakthrough in research into carbon nanotube transistors could lead the way for faster processors as for the first time ever, they have been found to considerably outperform the silicon transistors we are using today.

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison claim carbon nanotube transistors could be the future of CPU’s as they have found that carbon nanotubes can potentially enable a current that's 1.9 times higher than silicon.

Research into creating CPUs with improved performance, built with smaller processes with alternatives like carbon nanotubes has long been on the agenda of researchers – but they have long been held back by conduction issues. This outcome is one of the most significant of recent times as they have managed to align nanotubes in a manner which protects their purity. They have discovered they can do this by aligning the nanotubes on a wafer, which appears to disrupt the semiconducting properties of the nanotube.

The research means that carbon nanotube transistors have the potential to be five times faster (or use five times less energy) then silicon – the wider picture meaning more efficient processing, quicker wireless communication and perhaps most significantly, less frequent battery deaths or portable devices just when you need them sometime in the near future.

"Making carbon nanotube transistors that are better than silicon transistors is a big milestone. This breakthrough in carbon nanotube transistor performance is a critical advance toward exploiting carbon nanotubes in logic, high-speed communications, and other semiconductor electronics technologies,” said Michael Arnold, project lead and associate professor of science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Source: Engadget