3D Circuits To Keep Up With Moore's Law
from the exponential-growth dept
That said, Stanford researchers have made some notable progress with nanotube-based 3D circuits which demonstrates the feasibility of using carbon nanotubes for logic circuits. The prototype nanotube chip is still primitive compared to commercial silicon processors, but the newly-developed techniques to process nanotubes are the first that could be scaled beyond a one-of-a-kind demonstration chip. The process used to make this 3D nanotube circuit is compatible with the industrial VLSI (very large scale integration) manufacturing standard, and so the researchers call their method a VLSI-compatible Metallic Nanotube Removal (VMR) process. One of the problems of using nanotube transistors is that the composition of nanotubes often contains undesirable tubes that have metallic behavior. Removing these metallic nanotubes is necessary to avoid short-circuits, and doing so opens up the possibilities for incorporating carbon structures in chips.
Obviously, nanotube manipulation and synthesis techniques will have to be much better to start competing with commercial silicon processor performance. But creating 3D circuit designs using molecular materials could result in extremely high-density connections with improved speed and energy efficiency.