IBM expects to massively increase the number of transistors on a chip

Carbon nanotubes might make the next generation of IBM chips massively faster by 2020.

Carbon Nanotube Transistors

According to the semiconductor industry’s roadmap, transistors at that point must have features as small as five nanometers to keep up with the continuous miniaturization of computer chips. “That’s where silicon scaling runs out of steam, and there really is nothing else,” says Wilfried Haensch, who leads the company’s nanotube project at the company’s T.J. Watson research center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Nanotubes are the only technology that looks capable of keeping the advance of computer power from slowing down, by offering a practical way to make both smaller and faster transistors, he says.