Phosphorus equal of graphene makes reconfigurable transistors

Image of two sets of bar graphs.

Enlarge / One gate, two behaviors. (credit score: Peng Wu et al.)

In the intervening time, our processors are constructed on silicon. However basic limits on what will be performed with that materials has researchers eyeing methods to make use of supplies which have inherently small options, like nanotubes or atomically skinny supplies. At the very least in principle, these will allow us to do what we’re now doing, simply extra effectively and/or with bodily smaller options.

However can these supplies enable us to do issues that silicon cannot? The reply seems to be sure, primarily based on analysis printed earlier this week. In it, the researchers describe transistors that may be reconfigured on the fly in order that they carry out fully totally different operations. They recommend this may be helpful for safety, as it could hold dangerous actors from determining how security measures are carried out.

Doping vs. safety

The researchers, primarily based at Purdue and Notre Dame, lay out an argument for why this type of reconfigurable circuitry may have safety implications. It comes all the way down to the supplies science of silicon transistors. They require areas of silicon that both maintain unfavourable or constructive cost (creatively named p- or n-type semiconductors). These are created by doping, or including small quantities of sure parts to the silicon. That is performed in the course of the manufacturing, and the doping is locked into place at that time. Because of this the operation of particular person transistors is locked into place when the chip is made.

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