Nanowires Could Lead To Microscopic Chips - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
News
10/6/2006
01:30 PM
50%
50%

Nanowires Could Lead To Microscopic Chips

Caltech researchers create prototype 10-nanometer transistor.

You can't be too rich or thin, the saying goes. And at least the thin part applies to chip design. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology hope to usher in a new era of chip design and manufacturing with advancements in nanowire circuitry.

James Heath, a chemistry professor at Caltech, says he's created working silicon devices in which individual transistors are as small as 10 nanometers wide. Mainstream semiconductor manufacturing geometries are between 90 and 65 nanometers wide, and Intel this year showed a 45-nanometer-based device.

Good things in nano packages

Good things in nano packages
The move to mass manufacturing of transistors that tiny is still 10 to 15 years down the road, and it's unclear how manufacturing technologies will work at such levels of miniaturization, Heath says. "We're pushing hard on the future," he says. "The semiconductor industry really doesn't know how it will manufacture circuits in five years."

Using current CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) manufacturing technology, Heath has built a prototype 200-Kbit memory circuit with individual line dimensions of around 10 nanometers. The total size of the chip is about the size of a blood cell, he says.

Caltech researchers, who are funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Hewlett-Packard, now can create highly dense patterns of nanowires and are working to make the technology commercially manufacturable. Within five years, they hope to be able to have sensors that could analyze single strands of DNA. Hundreds of those DNA sensors could be packed into a small chip that could be used to determine pathogens in blood samples.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Industries with Job Openings Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/27/2020
Commentary
How 5G Rollout May Benefit Businesses More than Consumers
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/21/2020
News
IT Leadership in Education: Getting Online School Right
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/20/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll