ANALYSTS AT GARTNER have got all excited about the fact that carbon chips are now ready for mass production.
The company reported that carbon chips appear destined to supplant silicon as the material of choice for future semiconductors.
After throwing the I Ching, Gartner's oracles foresee that carbon can surpass silicon's abilities in thermal performance, frequency range and perhaps even superconductivity. They also saw something about six white horses pulling a superior man but could not work out what that was about.
Dean Freeman, senior analyst at Gartner, said that diamonds are a geek's best friend and will probably be the first carbon chip seen.
He said work had been going on using diamond chips for 15 years and thus diamond is the closest form of carbon-based chip to becoming commercialised.
Diamond offers 10 times the heat dissipation of silicon and has been used for 40nm to 15µ diamond films on silicon wafers.
The next form of carbon to be developed for use in chips will be two-dimensional carbon-3, which is called graphene. Semiconductors fabbed using graphene could kill off silicon chips by attaining 10 times better electron mobility, Gartner said. µ
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The first will be launched before the end of the year