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“Graphene can’t Replace Silicon”: IBM

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

A single graphene sheet measures just one atom-thick, potentially paving the way tiny transistors.

“IBM has revealed that graphene can’t fully replace silicon inside CPUs, as a graphene transistor can’t actually be completely switched off.

In an interview for a forthcoming Custom PC feature about chip-building materials, Yu-Ming Lin from IBM Research – Nanometer Scale Science and Technology told us that ‘graphene as it is will not replace the role of silicon in the digital computing regime.’

Last year, IBM demonstrated a graphene transistor running at 100GHz, claiming that the technology could be used to manufacture ‘zippy computer chips’ in the years to come. The story, along with news that researchers at the UCLU had produced a graphene transistor with a cut-off frequency of 300GHz, prompted all sorts of predictions of silicon marching towards its demise, making way for a graphene-based future with 1THz (one terahertz, or 1,000GHz) CPUs.

However, Lin says that ‘there is an important distinction between the graphene transistors that we demonstrated, and the transistors used in a CPU. Unlike silicon, ‘graphene does not have an energy gap, and therefore, graphene cannot be “switched off,” resulting in a small on/off ratio.'”

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