Intelligent Machines

Solo Flight

Semiconductor makers have supplied ever-more-efficient chips. But performance limits may soon be reached, partly because of the difficulty of making transistors small enough. Conventional transistors switch on or off when a burst of current passes through. As the transistor gets smaller, so does the level of current required. For the smallest of the small, labs have made transistors that switch in response to a single electron-but such nanode-vices have required cryogenic cooling. Now Princeton electrical engineer Stephen Chou has created a single-electron memory that works at room temperature. Manufacture of such devices, however, is several years off, awaiting greater understanding of the chips’ unusual properties.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.