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IBM demonstrates a functioning graphene circuit

Your phone could end up smaller and lighter
Fri Jan 31 2014, 16:18

TECHNOLOGY RESEARCHERS at IBM have successfully transmitted communications over a graphene integrated circuit (IC).

IBM revealed on Friday that it has successfully managed to create a working circuit from graphene, which could lead to the next generation of smaller, cheaper mobile phones.

The graphene circuit has been in development for some time, but manufacturing difficulties have prevented it from realising the material's promise.

"This is the first time that someone has shown graphene devices and circuits to perform modern wireless communication functions comparable to silicon technology" said Supratik Guha, cirector of physical sciences at IBM Research.

So far, the team have managed to transmit the binary codes '01001001', '01000010', and '01001101', or I B and M on the 4.3Ghz waveband. This doesn't exactly suggest we are on the verge of the governing technology of the 5G revolution, but in graphene circuit terms, the circuit equates to an early telegraph, so the Alexander Graham Bell moment cannot be far away.

"One can envision that high-performance graphene radio-frequency circuits will be directly built on top of high-density silicon CMOS logic circuits to form an extremely low-cost, ultra-compact communication system," IBM said in its research.

The chip measures 0.6mm, making it a stable product for miniaturised telecoms equipment, espionage equipment and practically invisible hearing aids. The chip works with traditional CMOS circuits and can be added to a silicon system later and integrated easily.

Although the test managed only 20Mbps per second, the team said that this was down to restrictions caused by its test equipment, rather than the potential of the graphene circuit. µ


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