MIT grows 2D crystals on existing silicon to make new semiconductors and catch up to Moore’s law

  • MIT grows 2D crystals on existing silicon to make new semiconductors and catch up to Moore’s law

    Posted by on January 25, 2023 at 8:28 PM

    Get out of the way silicon, you’re not our top transistor anymore. We’ve had enough of your inability to maintain electrical properties at tiny scales. That’s right, we’re leaving you. Moving onwards and upwards onto better things that can truly grow with us. To put it simply: it’s not us, it’s you. We’re probably going to have to rename that valley, too.

    We’ve had a really good run with silicon, but companies like TSMC have been seeking alternatives for a while, largely as a way of trying top keep up with Moore’s law. Moore’s law observed that the number of transistors able to be manufactured on silicon doubled approximately every two years, while the cost of computers fell. 

    This remained true for a long time, but is petering out. Some companies like Nvidia consider it mostly dead, while AMD say it’s just expensive to keep pace with. Regardless of where Moore’s law is now, it’s set to come crashing to a halt in the near future due to the limitations of Silicon.

    Thankfully, researchers at MIT have found what may well be our next transistor romance, and the good news is that silicon can kinda stick around to watch. To get those tiny sizes, researchers are working with substances so thin they’re called 2D materials. These delicate sheets of crystals are as thin as a single atom. The idea is to begin integrating these perfect crystal structures into current industry-standard silicon wafers.

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