Skip to Content

Quantum Leap

Each year, the size of transistors shrinks, thereby improving performance. Yet transistors must be big enough to allow electrons to pass through. Preparing for an inevitable impasse, Toshiba recently demonstrated a transistor that can turn on and off based on the movement of a single electron. Unlike other experimental quantum-level transistors, the device can operate at room temperature. It’s also the first successful hybrid circuit, mixing single-electron transistors with traditional metal-oxide transistors, which are required to boost the weak quantum-level signal. Chips based on the circuit should offer blazing performance and low power consumption. Before building a full-fledged processor, researchers face challenges such as finding a way to protect the chip from the disrupting effects of stray electromagnetic fields, electrical discharges and physical movement. Hybrid chips should be available commercially by 2010. -C. Conti

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Death and Jeff Bezos
Death and Jeff Bezos

Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever

Funders of a deep-pocketed new "rejuvenation" startup are said to include Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.

Professor Gang Chen of MIT
Professor Gang Chen of MIT

All charges against China Initiative defendant Gang Chen have been dismissed

MIT professor Gang Chen was one of the most prominent scientists charged under the China Initiative, a Justice Department effort meant to counter economic espionage and national security threats.

mouse engineered to grow human hair
mouse engineered to grow human hair

Going bald? Lab-grown hair cells could be on the way

These biotech companies are reprogramming cells to treat baldness, but it’s still early days.

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.