Beyond Silicon: Transistors for the Future

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers are developing a prototype transistor that can operate on lower voltage than standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices while maintaining high performance and power efficiency. The prototype is a high frequency, low-power tunneling transistor that could deliver high performance at about half the voltage of standard silicon transistors. The researchers tuned the material composition of the indium gallium arsenide/gallium arsenide antimony so the energy barrier was close to zero, which enabled electrons to tunnel through the barrier. The researchers also are exploring a concept known as “More of Moore,” which means that in the next generation of information technology applications, users will be interested in interacting more directly with their devices. The technology would go beyond traditional hardware by creating user-machine interfaces that are not traditionally part of Moore’s Law. The researchers are focusing on sensitive microelectromechanical systems-based magnetic sensors that are directly integrated with CMOS technology that could record and interpret brain signals. Finally, the researchers are studying an area called “Beyond Moore.” “One of the areas that we are moving strongly into is to try to see whether, with artificial hardware, we can implement what we call this neuromorphic computing paradigm where we don’t do things with ones and zeroes, but do them in an associative sense,” says PSU professor Suman Datta.

More info here: Pennsylvania State University (08/28/2014) Walt Mills

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