Record-Setting Terahertz Transmitters

Relatively cheap chip hits 1.1 THz, could make terahertz scanners and other devices practical

4 min read
Record-Setting Terahertz Transmitters


Image: Michael Feiginov/TU Darmstadt
Tiny Transmitter: TU Darmstadt's resonant tunneling diode transmitter beams out radiation at 1.11 terahertz. The Diode is the squiggle at the base of the "V". Click on image to enlarge.

25 January 2012—Researchers in Germany and Japan have developed tiny transmitter chips that produce the highest-frequency signals at room temperature—1.111 terahertz—of any source driven by a resonant-tunneling diode (RTD), a type of electronic quantum device. The relatively cheap transmitter chip might make it easier to use terahertz devices. Researchers have been working toward developing technologies that could potentially help to foil bomb plots. These terahertz devices would be able to see through a person’s clothing and chemically identify concealed objects from a distance.

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The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions

What will the device be like on its 100th anniversary?

4 min read
Six men and a woman smiling.

The luminaries who dared predict the future of the transistor for IEEE Spectrum include: [clockwise from left] Gabriel Loh, Sri Samavedam, Sayeef Salahuddin, Richard Schultz, Suman Datta, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and H.-S. Philip Wong.


The 100th anniversary of the invention of the transistor will happen in 2047. What will transistors be like then? Will they even be the critical computing element they are today? IEEE Spectrum asked experts from around the world for their predictions.

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