IBM moving to replace silicon with carbon nanotubes in computer chips

The company said it has greatly increased the number of carbon nanotubes that can be accurately placed on a single chip

By Jay Alabaster, IDG News Service |  Hardware, carbon nanotubes, IBM

IBM said its latest method solves both issues. The company's researchers mix CNTs into liquid solutions that is then used to soak specially prepared substrates, with chemical "trenches" to which the CNTs bond in the correct alignment needed for electrical circuits. The method also eliminates the non-conducting metallic CNTs.

The company said the breakthrough will not yet lead to commercial nano-transistors, but is an important step along the way.

Before they can challenge silicon, however, they must also pass an often-overlooked part of Moore's law - affordability. His law applies to "complexity for minimum component costs," or what consumers are likely to see in the market.

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