Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Post-silicon era in sight?

In recent edition of Technology Review online magazine, a group of MIT researchers are reported to claim that they are succeeded in making and operating a new non-silicon transistor with only 60-nm gate length but with better performance than a 65-nm silicon transistor.
The transistor is made of indium-gallium-arsenide as substitute of silicon and indium-aluminium-arsenide as substitute of silicon-dioxide as gate material. Jesus del Alamo explained that wirh this compound material the Moore's law can be maintained in the future. Electrons can flow faster in the material than in silicon, provides a basis for better shrinking in smaller transistors.
The question is, how much is needed to convert the whole design and production lines which are currently used for silicon-based transistor?