Discover new material that can increase the performance of computer chips

News hardware Discover new material that can increase the performance of computer chips

A group of researchers from the famous MIT, in collaboration with the University of Houston, has recently found an alternative to silicon to make the semiconductor of tomorrow, its name: cubic boron arsenide.

After lithium, researchers are now looking for a successor to silicon

If there is one thing to remember in the Covid crisis in the electronic and Tech market, it is really, really, not good to rely only on one type of resource and one provider.

For several weeks, we have seen studies and research on tomorrow’s batteries develop, to rely less on rare materials in general and lithium in particular.

Among all the more or less advanced methods, we see that researchers work mainly around the
sulfur
or even
graphite
elements that are already known to improve existing batteries, while others go down more winding paths by setting their sights on
moss
or even the
sand

Finally, global warming and frequent heat waves have confirmed those who thought so the energy of the future is in photovoltaic panels
and that you need to put it somewhere to be autonomous.

Piece of polished wafer and block of pure silicon

but there is another area that suffers from a quasi-monopoly that many researchers want to break, it is that of semiconductors. In this domain, the king of the world is called silicon.

Without it, or without semiconductors, how to say… No PC, no console, no smartphone, no television, etc etc, no wholesale digital goods. Back to the Amish model as others have said…

Suddenly, between the shortages linked to Covid and the unnecessary best properties of silicon, the most widely used semiconductor on the market, researchers are struggling to find a successor to it and this is how the cubic boron arsenide.

Semiconductor plate

Discover new material that can increase the performance of computer chips

Cubic boron arsenide, the semiconductor of tomorrow that everyone is waiting for

The study that interests us today was published a few days ago in the scientific magazine Science and was jointly conducted by researchers from the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in collaboration with the University of Houston.

For the record, in the super shortcut, a semiconductor is a chemical compound that is halfway between an insulator and a superconductor. It is used everywhere in electronics past and present and is very suitable for our everyday devices.

Discover new material that can increase the performance of computer chips

However, the use of silicon, if it is facilitated due to its great availability (it is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen) causes some problems that we all know: too hot.

If your smartphone or your computer heats up a lot, it is partly because of this, because it does not heat well and therefore we need cooling systems, very sophisticated, expensive and powerful of energy.

For two years now, researchers have been interested in another promising semiconductor material: cubic boron arsenide.

cubic boron arsenide

Discover new material that can increase the performance of computer chips

After theorizing the fact that it was better in every way than silicon, they finally managed to experiment with it and the results were clear. If it turns out to be a little better than silicon when it comes to electron transfer, it will be 10 times more efficient in terms of heat dissipation.

Its next big project will involve finding a way to produce enough of this new material to test it and integrate it on a large scale into a whole range of electronic devices, from simple watch connected to a passing electric car. laptops or smartphones. Great hope for the future.

Source:
Science

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