Smallest Transistor Ever Developed Features One Nanometre Gate!
Peter Donnell / 3 years ago
The laws of physics set the benchmark for transistor gates at 5-nanometre, something that has made the continued shrinking of CPUs harder and harder as that tiny limit creeps over the horizon, but one team seems to have cracked it, creating a transistor with a gate of just one nanometre! Given that Intel will be pushing their 10nm hardware next year, 1nm is a hell of an innovation.
“We made the smallest transistor reported to date. The gate length is considered a defining dimension of the transistor,” said Ali Javey of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “We demonstrated a 1-nanometre-gate transistor, showing that with the choice of proper materials, there is a lot more room to shrink our electronics,” he said.
“The semiconductor industry has long assumed that any gate below 5 nanometres wouldn’t work, so anything below that was not even considered,” said study lead author Sujay Desai, a graduate student in Javey’s lab. “By changing the material from silicon to MoS2, we can make a transistor with a gate that is just one nanometre in length, and operate it like a switch,” he added.
There’s a lot of work to be done still, and this kind of hardware isn’t close to practical for CPUs like the ones we see in our desktop computers. However, it’s a step in the right direction and changes the rules on what was thought possible, so it should help lead to further innovations in the transistor market over the coming years.