Big Step For Nanotech

IBM builds worlds smallest transistor, which will lead to more powerful chips
IBM Research announced last week that it has built the world's smallest working transistor, an innovation that promises to let chipmakers keep up with Moore's Law and build more powerful processors for years to come. "This is the first time that we've demonstrated that something this small can actually work," says Meikei Ieong, a manager at IBM Research.

The gate of the transistor, the part that turns it off and on, has a length of only 6 nanometers, which is 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The device is at least 10 times smaller than state-of-the-art transistors in commercial production. There's still a lot of work to be done before chipmakers can start cranking out the tiny devices in mass numbers, says Ieong. Issues like power consumption and heat dissipation have to be addressed, and it could take several years before commercial manufacturing begins.

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