IBM has constructed a 9 nanometer carbon nanotube transistor reported to be the smallest CNT to date, with the new transistor considerably smaller in size compared to any other commercial silicon transistor.
In fact, with its 9nm size, the new invention is even smaller than the physical limit of silicon transistors that stand at almost 11nm.
Besides its actual size, there are many other interesting facts about this transistor. For example, its capability to switch at low voltages results in lower power consumption. However, despite utilising less power, this nanometer transistor can carry four times as much current compared to the silicon transistor; with better flow of current resulting in improved signal quality as well as a large diversity of applications.
In fact, due to its advantages and enhanced electrical qualities carbon nanotubes is in the process of replacing the silicon transistors. Yet it appears that this latest piece of technology has its own flaws, including difficulty with mass production and secondly, the issue of reaching a mature state that can replace 40 years of semiconductor technology, reported Extreme Tech.
Even though this technology might take some time before it becomes fully adopted by chip makers, the type of advantages this 9 nanometer carbon nanotube transistor offers could result in some serious competition.