Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Architects of nanoworld behind the screens

Date:
November 29, 2013
Source:
University of Twente
Summary:
New types of building blocks for electronics will be the future, that is clear. Molecules can already be given the functionality of a transistor. But compared to the huge complexity of current chips, with eight or nine ‘highways’ above each other, connecting all elements is still impossible. Silicon research and industry has shown an immense effort, and progress is being made.

New types of building blocks for electronics will be the future, that is clear for researcher Nauta. "It is already possible to give a molecule the functionality of a transistor. But compare that to the huge complexity of current chips, with eight or nine 'highways' above each other, connecting all elements. How to reach this using these new molecules? There's still a huge gap there. Silicon research and industry has shown an immense effort, that's still going on for some time." Nauta stresses that current chips like microprocessors already contain billions of transistor with sizes in the nanometer domain. Microelectronics had become nanoelectronics already. "They are so small, around 22 nanometer, that you can count the individual atoms."

Related Articles


Not self-evident at all

In his lecture 'The invisible circuit', Nauta asks his audience to imagine a world without chips. "If we wouldn't have chips in our daily life, suddenly a lot of things like social media and internet, aren't possible anymore. That would really mean 'back to the fifties'." That is: almost back to the time the very first transistor was invented, in 1947. Still, we take it for granted whenever there is a new generation of smartphones, tablets or other gadgets in the shops. "This is not self-evident at all. This requires top research and huge investments in new chip factories." Nauta's own group, one of the world's leading groups in chip design, delivered several inventions that found their way to smart phones and TV's. A well-known example is their noise-cancelling circuit that surprised the semiconductor world at first, but is a textbook example by now.

Cognitive radio

Nauta specializes in circuits translating the analogue outside world into the digital inside of the smartphone: the part of the circuitry taking care of transmitting and receiving, or 'radio'. Complexity is growing rapidly there: with more and more mobile standards, a good quality has to be guaranteed with low noise, and if possible, using less energy. And all that on the tiniest possible silicon surface. "For each standard, you would need a separate filter. But that would take far too much surface. We now develop a filter that is tunable and can be integrated on-chip. That's a development the whole world is looking at, because integration of conventional filters is almost impossible. Within five years, it will be commercially available." This new type of filter would also be the candidate for new radio techniques employing every free part of the frequency spectrum, so-called cognitive radio.

Even if Moore's Law, that predicts a doubling of the amount of components on every square millimeter of silicon every two years, comes to a halt due to physical limits, a creative designer still has years to go, according to Nauta. These physical limits have been pushed for decades now: as long as it is viable economically, industry will keep investing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Twente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Twente. "Architects of nanoworld behind the screens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131129101757.htm>.
University of Twente. (2013, November 29). Architects of nanoworld behind the screens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131129101757.htm
University of Twente. "Architects of nanoworld behind the screens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131129101757.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins