Silicon gets stay of execution from IBM

Silicon might have to share the spotlight with graphene, but it won’t be totally retired. So say researchers at IBM, who have found that their graphene transistors can’t be fully switched off.

Silicon might have to share the spotlight with graphene, but it won’t be totally retired. So say researchers at IBM, who have found that their graphene transistors can’t be fully switched off.

The report, from Bit-Tech, quote IBM researcher Yu-Ming Lin from IBM Research - Nanometer Scale Science and Technology as saying: "Graphene as it is will not replace the role of silicon in the digital computing regime…Unlike silicon, 'graphene does not have an energy gap, and therefore, graphene cannot be “switched off," resulting in a small on/off ratio."

Yu-Ming Lin said that graphene and silicon would have to share the stage in hybrid circuits that would boost existing chips.

Intel spokesman Mike Mayberry said that for now, silicon’s future is assured. Although graphene holds enormous promise for the future, there is still a lot to be done experimentally, before its potential can be properly exploited, he argued.

"The industry has so much experience with [silicon] that there are no plans to move away from silicon as the substrate for chips," he said.

Read up in a little more detail here at Bit-Tech.