Wired Article: Teensy Transistors Get Even Smaller

Chris Hind (chind@juno.com)
Sat, 15 Feb 1997 00:44:25 -0800

Teensy Transistors Get Even Smaller
by Kristi Coale=20

3:01=A0pm=A0PST=A05=A0Feb=A097 - A new seven-nanometer square transistor=
could help
chip makers cram more memory into the same silicon space they now use for
their microprocessors.=20

The Room Temperature Single Electron MOS Memory transistor, developed at
the University of Minnesota, uses a single electron to represent one bit of
information. Existing transistors on random access memory SIMMs and
semiconductors use a fluctuating level of electrons - roughly 30,000,
researchers said - to make up one binary bit of memory.=20

Microprocessor manufacturers that used the new technology would be able to
place trillions of transistors in the same space that, in the case of
today's Pentium, is occupied by 5.5 million transistors.=20

"This would increase the overall power of the chip without increasing the
fabrication costs and power consumption," said Stephen Chou, professor of
electrical engineering at the University of Minnnesota.=20

Apparently, the semiconductor industry has taken notice. Chou said the
major chip makers, including Texas Instruments and Intel, have contacted
him about evaluating the technology.

"Risk: You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage
to lose sight of the shore."

Chris Hind (chind@juno.com) Upward, Outward, ACTION!
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