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Scientists make chip using carbon nanotubes instead of silicon

Scientists have made a microprocessor using carbon nanotubes – not silicon.

As reported by Science News, the innovation marks a milestone in computing.

The prototype chip is said to be slower than equivalent silicon-based processors and is not as small.

However, if the work continues to progress, carbon nanotube computer chips “may ultimately give rise to a new generation of faster, more energy-efficient electronics”, according to the website.

The scientists who built the carbon nanotube chip published their research in Nature magazine.

The article says: “Electronics is approaching a major paradigm shift because silicon transistor scaling no longer yields historical energy-efficiency benefits, spurring research towards beyond-silicon nanotechnologies.

“In particular, carbon nanotube field-effect transistor-based digital circuits promise substantial energy-efficiency benefits, but the inability to perfectly control intrinsic nanoscale defects and variability in carbon nanotubes has precluded the realization of very-large-scale integrated systems.”