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Graphene versus Carbon Nanotubes for Electronics: A Short Update

Research for graphene in electronics applications is accelerating so fast carbon nanotubes seem nearly forgotten

1 min read

 A little over a year ago I suggested that the upstart wonder material graphene was beginning to win greater favor among researchers over carbon nanotubes for application in electronics.

Since that time, it seems graphene research has been reaching a critical mass. A nice catalogue of what’s been happening with graphene research can be found here at Cleantechnica.com.

But I can’t help but shed a tear for the long-suffering carbon nanotube. And just in case, you think all research has been abandoned in the application of CNTs to electronics, here’s a bit of encouraging news. Although not quite reaching the level of perfecting sealing wax, with the growing interest in graphene it sometimes feels that way.

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3D-Stacked CMOS Takes Moore’s Law to New Heights

When transistors can’t get any smaller, the only direction is up

10 min read
An image of stacked squares with yellow flat bars through them.
Emily Cooper
Green

Perhaps the most far-reaching technological achievement over the last 50 years has been the steady march toward ever smaller transistors, fitting them more tightly together, and reducing their power consumption. And yet, ever since the two of us started our careers at Intel more than 20 years ago, we’ve been hearing the alarms that the descent into the infinitesimal was about to end. Yet year after year, brilliant new innovations continue to propel the semiconductor industry further.

Along this journey, we engineers had to change the transistor’s architecture as we continued to scale down area and power consumption while boosting performance. The “planar” transistor designs that took us through the last half of the 20th century gave way to 3D fin-shaped devices by the first half of the 2010s. Now, these too have an end date in sight, with a new gate-all-around (GAA) structure rolling into production soon. But we have to look even further ahead because our ability to scale down even this new transistor architecture, which we call RibbonFET, has its limits.

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