Sign In

Communications of the ACM


Flatter Chips

hexagonal molecular lattice, illustration

Credit: Shutterstock

More than 20 years ago, the historical rate of shrinking transistors to improve speed, density, power consumption, and cost became impossible to maintain. Even with slower physical scaling, however, electronics manufacturers steadily improved their products by exploiting new materials, new device and circuit designs, and faster communication between chips.

Many researchers believe there is a new opportunity to dramatically improve the transistors themselves by fashioning them out of the atomically thin sheets that naturally form in graphene and related layered materials. Incorporating a new material into highly optimized, state-of-the-art manufacturing will not be easy, although industry has done it before. It may start by grafting two-dimensional (2D) materials onto traditional chips to provide special capabilities, such as better interconnections or integrated optical devices. "Some form of 2D materials is going to be introduced integrally into the electronics eventually," said Xiangfeng Duan of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.