Optical Transistor Is a Step Toward the Quantum Internet

Scientists demonstrate a technique to make quantum information sharing possible

3 min read
Optical Transistor Is a Step Toward the Quantum Internet

laser maze

Photo: Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Laser Maze: Max Planck researcher Martin Muecke oversees the optics setup for electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) laser elements.

14 May 2010—Physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, led by Gerhard Rempe, have created a system based on a single atom that they’re calling a ”quantum optical transistor.” The transistor could someday serve as part of a quantum computer or as a node of a quantum data network.

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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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