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Graphene Transistors Clocked At 26GHz

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the slightly-faster-than-one dept.

IBM 174

KentuckyFC writes "A team at IBM has built the first high quality graphene transistors and clocked them running at 26 GHz . That doesn't quite knock silicon off its perch. The fastest silicon transistors are an order of magnitude faster than that but the record is held by indium phosphide transistors which have topped 1000 GHz. But it's not bad for a new kid on the block. It took silicon 40 years to get this far. By contrast, the first graphene transistor was built only last year. IBM says 'the work represents a significant step towards the realization of graphene-based electronics.' (Abstract)."

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Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075135)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

in other words (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075161)

pencil < pen < sliderule < calculator < computer < supercomputer < pencil

Re:in other words (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075997)

+1 Most beautiful use of inequalities

Re:in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076871)

Wow! This is the first time circletimessquare has INTENTIONALLY made me laugh.

Practical limit (1)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075231)

This might be a practical limit to the GHz race. There's only so much cicuitry that an electron can go through in that short amount of time. Someone work out the math but in that short amount of time an electron can travel less than a feet(30cm) I'm guesstimating. Sorry got an exam in a couple of hours, don't want to break out the paper and pencil just now.

Re:Practical limit (3, Informative)

ttuegel (737533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075311)

Although there is a practical limit to how far a single electron can go, electrical signals don't consist of a single electron going from one end of the wire to the other. Instead, it's like a game of miniature billiards, with electrons lined up in the wire. You pop one in one end, and another falls out the other end almost instantaneously.

Re:Practical limit (3, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075419)

There's a practical (and theoretical) limit to how fast this force propagates, too. Fortunately, that's quite high. I don't think electric propagation time is or will be the practical limit on transistor speed.

Re:Practical limit (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076921)

It is a limit for sure. In the time a modern CPU completes 1 operation, light can only travel a couple mm. Electric force in wires propogates significantly slower than lightspeed.

Re:Practical limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077127)

I guess so, since the theoretical limit is the speed of light.

Re:Practical limit (2, Informative)

fizzup (788545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077681)

The limit on signal transmission speed is relativistic, and about one foot per nanosecond. So the maximum characteristic distance of a chip clocked at 1GHz is about a foot. 10GHz is about an inch. A pentium is about square, and about half an inch on a side. Asynchronous electronics can operate with higher frequency signals, though timing and lead length are still considerations in such devices at really high frequencies.

Re:Practical limit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075439)

You pop one in one end, and another falls out the other end almost instantaneously.

The GP is suggesting that at some point that almost becomes very real and very important.

Re:Practical limit (3, Informative)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075495)

Yes, but unless you can make them break the speed of light there is going to be a very hard limit on how far you can send the signal within an oscillation. At 1 Ghz the signal can travel around 30 centimeters before next cycle, at 5 Ghz you are down to 6 cm (compared to speed of light, since they are going slightly slower mileage will vary), when things go fast enough "almost instantaneously" is quite a long time.

Re:Practical limit (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075579)

Because each of these interactions takes time, the signal actually propagates significantly more slowly than the speed of light. The standard rule of thumb is c/2.

Re:Practical limit (4, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076475)

You're right that it's not the speed of an electron that matters.

However, according to relativity, information itself cannot propagate faster than the speed of light. Using your "billiards" analogy, even though the cue ball doesn't have to make it across the table, the 8 ball can't "know" (or in any way react to the fact) that the cue ball started moving any sooner than an object, moving at the speed of light, could cross the table.

The speed of light is fast, but on the timescales we're discussing it does not translate to "almost instantaneous".

Re:Practical limit (3, Interesting)

krenshala (178676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076755)

However, the position of the sun does get transmitted to the earth faster than the speed of light. Its called aberration, and the instantaneous position of hte sun is 20 arc seconds ahead of the visible (8.3 minute light lagged) position that you see in the sky. Astronomers are unable to point their telescopes in the correct direction if they assume gravity effects travel at the speed of light. they get the correct position if they assume it is instantaneous (at least for stuff in our star system).

Re:Practical limit (2, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077121)

I've heard this argued both ways about gravity, and I don't disbelieve what you're saying; but it's a bit off-topic since transistors don't operate on gravity.

Re:Practical limit (1)

Gogogoch (663730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077521)

Thanks for your stunningly precise, clear and accurate contribution to scientific discourse on /.

Please mod parent (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075347)

-1 Didn't even read summary before commenting

Re:Practical limit (1)

aperion (1022267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075985)

My physics professor would use cables to introduce delay in detector signals, 1 foot per nanosecond delay. I always thought that was interesting as it's the same speed as the speed of light...

Re:Practical limit (2, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077665)

it's the same speed as the speed of light...

Correct... although electrons actually don't propagate that rapidly though a wire, GP was fundamentally correct in that an electron doesn't have to travel the entire length of the wire to transmit the signal. The added electrons at one end of the wire force electrons out the other, and the electrical force is transmitted through the wire at the speed of light. Push an electron into the wire at one end, and you should expect an electron to come out the other end after a delay of wire length/c.

However, GP incorrectly assumes that the "almost instantaneous" reaction is insignificant... on the contrary, it's very significant at high clock rates (as several others have correctly noted).

Re:Practical limit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076159)

This might be a practical limit to the GHz race.

Of course, once we exhaust possible advances in digital technology, the next step is analog computing. There is not even a theoretical limit to that.

Duh (1, Interesting)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075237)

But it's not bad for a new kid on the block. It took silicon 40 years to get this far. By contrast, the first graphene transistor was built only last year.

Though mobile phones are not as powerful as mainframe computers, they're not doing badly considering they've only been a relatively short time.

Therefore it stands to reason that the mobile phones of the future will doubtless be more powerful than the mainframe computers of the future!

Re:Duh (1)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075387)

Is graphene-based circuitry based on silicon the same way mobile phones are based on computers, or are you just throwing a straw man out there for shits and giggles?

Re:Duh (1)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076165)

Ah if he only had a brain...

referring to the straw man of course.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077145)

the shit has a brain.
mr. hanky

Yes but... (3, Funny)

Foske (144771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075249)

Running 26 GHz is nice, but... Does it run Linux ?

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075377)

I'll give you an advice for future posts: put all the memes in one place. You can even add them in the same phrase... something like:

I, for one, welcome our new 26-GHz-Linux-running computer overlords. It'll sure be the year of the Linux desktop! Developers, developers, developers, developers!

Re:Yes but... (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075577)

You're missing several memes, like:

1. In Soviet Russia,
2. Slashdot is pants
3. Imagine a beowulf cluster of those
4. ...
5. Profit!

P.S. You must be new here.

Re:Yes but... (1)

phillous (1160303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075973)

What you're after is something like... 1) Graphene Transistors Run Linux 2) Year of Linux on the Desktop 3) Imagine a Beowulf cluster of Graphene Transistors running Linux 4) In Soviet Russia, Year of Linux on the Desktop runs Beowulf cluster of Graphene Transistors 5) But does it run Vista / Crysis ? 6) ... 7) Profit! You, Sir, appear to be the new one here.

Re:Yes but... (3, Interesting)

phillous (1160303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076019)

ok so I wasn't thinking, forgot about my tags, and now I look like the fool... should look like this..

What you're after is something like...

1) Graphene Transistors Run Linux
2) Year of Linux on the Desktop
3) Imagine a Beowulf cluster of Graphene Transistors running Linux
4) In Soviet Russia, Year of Linux on the Desktop runs Beowulf cluster of Graphene Transistors
5) But does it run Vista / Crysis ?
6) ...
7) Profit!

You, Sir, appear to be the new one here.

I shall now let myself out whilst I learn to preview

Re:Yes but... (1)

basscomm (122302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076311)

You forgot 'you insensitive clod', you insensitive clod!

Re:Yes but... (1)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076047)

Both of ya are new here, otherwise one of you would have added a car analogy AND something about hot graphene transistors poured down your pants by Natalie Portman.

Or have we finally let that whole meme-complex die? I'm getting old, I can't remember anymore.

(Does slashdot have a +1, Nostalgia mod?)

Re:Yes but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076111)

but i want PONIES!!!!!

Re:Yes but... (3, Funny)

krenshala (178676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076811)

(Does slashdot have a +1, Nostalgia mod?)

No, but I think it needs one ... as well as -1, Off My Lawn.

Re:Yes but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077371)

I can't wait to play Duke Nukem Forever on a beowulf cluster of hot graphene transistors (running Linux) poured down my pants by Natalie Portman (naked and petrified) in the Year of Linux on the desktop. It'll be just like swapping out a v8 for a Mr. Fusion device. In Soviet Russia, 1) Profit! 2) ??? 3) You!

And it STILL won't run Crysis, OR Vista. Developers, developers, developers...

Re:Yes but... (1)

ultramk (470198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076603)

In South Korea, only old people aggregate memes.

Re:Yes but... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075663)

Wow, imagine a Beowulf cluster of these slashdot meme comments!

Re:Yes but... (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076251)

Running 26 GHz is nice, but... Does it run Vista ?

There. Fixed that for ya.

Ignore speed of light: (2, Funny)

Pope (17780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076435)

Allow/Deny?

Re:Ignore speed of light: (1, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077105)

Can I have a 50/50? Otherwise I'm going to have to phone a friend.

Save the Silicon (-1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075265)

Use graphine and save the silicon for the women who need it.

Re:Save the Silicon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075537)

Stupid joke, silicon!=silicone

Re:Save the Silicon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075593)

OMG I can't believe he said that. I couldn't understand before your post.

Re:Save the Silicon (1)

johnthorensen (539527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075585)

Say it with me...SiliCONE. SiliCON boobs would be ridiculously uncomfortable. Of course, if you used the hydrogenated amorphous variant, you might be able to work out a way to turn them into flat panels as well. Since it's Slashdot, I'll leave the next joke for someone else.

Re:Save the Silicon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076055)

Would the boobs run Linux?

Flat panel (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076351)

I do NOT want Calista Flockhart pouring hot grits anywhere.

Re:Save the Silicon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076397)

Hmm, silicon implants for a flatter chest... sounds backwards, even if you can use them as a monitor.

Re:Save the Silicon (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077379)

Finally, a socially acceptable reason to stare at boobs!!!

Re:Save the Silicon (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077543)

Picture the scene.

A newly silicon enhanced woman arrives at the beach, removes top, lays on her back....

and deploys combination sunshades / solar arrays from her chest!

Re:Save the Silicon (1)

Artraze (600366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077671)

They already have resistive touch sensitivity!?!

pretty sweet (4, Informative)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075269)

IBM and Columbia are working together on this. Their grant calls for them to push this up to 50 THz.

Oh, and what was done last year was a single electron transistor... normal transistors were available just about as soon as graphene was, in 2004.

Are we getting into light spectrum territory now? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075283)

Wow. 1000 Ghz... are we getting anywhere near light frequencies now? It would be cool to have transistors able to switch light. Right now laser data transmission has to be converted to electrons, then switched at a much lower frequency. If we could eliminate that step and improve efficiencies... well...this would kick ass!

Re:Are we getting into light spectrum territory no (0, Troll)

Foske (144771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075331)

Except that although nobody exactly knows what a foton is, it is known not to be an electron. And these transistors happen to be designed for the latter...

Re:Are we getting into light spectrum territory no (5, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075511)

You mean photon? We know a hell of a lot more about photons than "it's not an electron".

Don't confuse you not knowing what a photon is with physicists not knowing what a photon is. Don't confuse not knowing what something "is" with the inability to make working devices with them.

Re:Are we getting into light spectrum territory no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075927)

Give him a break; He's obviously an extra and has never seen Star Trek.
Extras [youtube.com]

Re:Are we getting into light spectrum territory no (4, Funny)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076359)

Except that although nobody exactly knows what a foton is, it is known not to be an electron. And these transistors happen to be designed for the latter...

It's a flat mattress that sits very low to the ground and are very popular in Japan. Everyone knows that!

Re:Are we getting into light spectrum territory no (2, Informative)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075807)

1000 nm light has a frequency of 3e15 Hz, or 3000 THz. The real thing with optics is to be able to do the processing on light signals instead of electron signals, even in this case the transistors would run at tens to hundreds of GHz. The switching frequency they are talking about here is basically how small they have gotten the internal resistances and capacitances so that the time constant is very very very short. Running one transistor at that kind of speed is one thing, running one hundred million is something else.

Re:Are we getting into light spectrum territory no (1)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075871)

Well I'm an idiot, must be too many finals, its 3e14 Hz = 300 THz,for a 1000nm photon, I hope.

Not even close. (1, Interesting)

frieko (855745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076585)

You're never going to have clock frequencies in the light range, for the simple fact that light waves are shorter than the diameter of an atom and thus bigger than any transistor.

Luckily switching light doesn't require transistors that fast. For example, an LCD display switches light directly, without first converting it to electrons. That uses electricity to switch light, but the idea has already been extended to switching light with light in the lab.

Re:Not even close. (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077623)

Some photons have a wavelength smaller than the wavelength of an atom. But none of the ones I'm seeing now do.
Laser red wavelength = 632 nm.
Helium atomic radius = 31 pm.

Digital switching or signal amplification? (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075289)

It's a lot harder to get a switching transistor (for digital circuitry) to operate at high speeds than for a transistor to show gain as an RF amplifier.

26 GHz is incredible for switching circuitry, but it's nothing if you're talking RF signals nowadays. I'm guessing that this was an RF amp given the comments of other transistors being faster in the article summary.

There is a comment about "clocked at" which implies digital switching, but that could easily be a clueless journalist that has no idea of the difference between transistors in clocked digital circuitry and transistors as RF amplifiers.

Re:Digital switching or signal amplification? (3, Informative)

zetazentra (1274302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075487)

I searched for "clock" in the paper on arxiv and got no results! The abstract there is more informative:

ABSTRACT
Top-gated graphene transistors operating at high frequencies (GHz) have been fabricated and their characteristics analyzed. The measured intrinsic current gain shows an ideal 1/f frequency dependence, indicating an FET-like behavior for graphene transistors. The cutoff frequency f_T is found to be proportional to the dc transconductance g_m of the device, consistent with the relation f_T=g_m/(2piC_G). The peak f_T increases with a reduced gate length, and f_T as high as 26 GHz is measured for a graphene transistor with a gate length of 150 nm. The work represents a significant step towards the realization of graphene-based electronics for high-frequency applications.

Re:Digital switching or signal amplification? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076897)

I probably should have read TFA, but your excerpt from it says to me that it is indeed only signal amplification and not switching that was observed at 26 GHz.

Not again... (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075339)

After reading this Intel engineers are busy restoring Pentium 4 design from backup tapes.

Re:Not again... (2, Interesting)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075621)

yeah, where are my 3.8Ghz dual cores? Multicores are nice if you have parallel task, but if you have a serial task.. well.

Re:Not again... (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075859)

Non-trivial tasks are almost never forced to be serial. So long as the software industry keeps up, adding cores is fine.

back-in-the-day (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075381)

It may have taken Silicon 40 years to reach that level, but compare Silicon transistors to the thing it replaced - vacuum tubes - they had totally phased them out within a decade

Re:back-in-the-day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076039)

Wow, really? In 1958 there were no more vacuum tubes? Seen a lot of silicon displays back then? Oscilloscopes, radars, computers, radios, TVs, radio transmitters and spacecraft were all still using tubes in 1958, and in 1968, and 1978....

Why? (1, Interesting)

docgiggles (1425995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075441)

At some point, we have to conclude that we are good. Silicon is likely the best material for chips, and will continue to stay that way. other materials have been tried (Germanium was the first) but silicon took precedence because it was cheap and efficient, and I don't see any reason to change that

Re:Why? (1)

Foske (144771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075543)

Graphite is made of carbon, carbon can be made from CO2, CO2 is made by your car. Soon you can refit your exhaust pipe with a miniature chip factory and have Oxigen as only exhaust gas. And you have to ask WHY ?! Wonder what the ratio is between the price of sold chips and the price per gallon of gasoline...

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075835)

You seem to not realize that a car gets its power by forming H2O and CO2 molecules. You'd have to spend pretty much all of the power you've generated to split CO2 back into C and O2.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077115)

No, an internal combustion engine doesn't make CO2, it ends up making CO because there isn't enough oxygen in the cyclinders. That's why we have catalytic convertors in our exhausts, so the only pollutants are non harmful to us(in the sense of poison).
However, I agree that you'd need to waste a lot of the energy released in the engine on spliting the CO2 into C and O2. And I dont think its even possible to get the equipment on a car, so yes pointless and impossible.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075945)

At some point, we have to conclude that we are good. Silicon is likely the best material for chips, and will continue to stay that way. other materials have been tried (Germanium was the first) but silicon took precedence because it was cheap and efficient, and I don't see any reason to change that

Silicon sucks.

Pretty much the only redeeming feature it has is that its cheap. when you compare the material properties of Si to GaAs, IIRC, GaAs is better in every way. Unfortunately its also about 100 times as expensive. At least it was back in the mid 90s when I last studied that.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076411)

Look up Silicon vs. GaAs hole mobility.

Also, GaAs processing is a nightmare. GaAs is brittle as hell... there's no way that it could be scaled to 300mm wafer tech currently used for Si processing.

Besides, the benefits of GaAs are basically moot when you consider SiGe transistors that are now employed for high speed Rf applications. SiGe has the benefits of both high mobility and easy integration into existing silicon fabs. (The actual SiGe material is deposited as a thin film on Si wafers).

But the future of electronics might very well be diamond. If large single crystal diamond substrates can be created, and suitable dopants are realized, it will blow silicon out of the water.

Re:Why? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076441)

Just because there are better materials then Silicon, doesn't mean silicon sucks.

Re:Why? (1)

45mm (970995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077645)

Silicon sucks.

Aww, you just hurt your processor's feelings! Say you're sorry!

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076005)

At some point, we have to conclude that we are good. Gasoline is likely the best energy source for cars, and will continue to stay that way. Other sources have been tried (electricity was the first) but gasoline took precedence because it was cheap and efficient, and I don't see any reason to change that.

This research should be GPL'd (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075499)

Commie twat Stallman says "graphene should be free" so he'll take all the reserarch papers and write the same content using new words. Then he'll campaign that graphene patents are immoral, so he shoudn't be sued for copying their ideas, whilst relying on copyright to protect his re-worded copy of their ideas.

Then he'll encourage everyone to use it by playing semantic games with the meaning of the word "free" (n.b. words are defined by common usage as recorded in dictionaries, not by self-important fat ass wipes).

Once enough people have become dependent on Stallman's "free" graphene transistors, he'll only release updates (including essential updates) under a new license that is as thick as a novel and is filled with rules that make you owe your own grandmother to the bearded fat tosser.

Finally, the entire graphene business will slide into the mud like Communist Russia did, and carbon-compound-socialism will not be spoken of again - at least until the next time some jumped-up control freak thinks up a new way of exploiting the enviousness of the lazy.

What Is the Clock Made of? (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075637)

Apparently, the clock that is used to measure the speed of this transistor is even faster. Why not try to make transistors of the same material as the clock? I assume it's some kind of crystal.

Re:What Is the Clock Made of? (2, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076121)

+1 Dear-God-I-Hope-That's-A-Joke.

Sarcasm is hard to do online.

Re:What Is the Clock Made of? (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076425)

It's a Swatch with a sweep nano-second hand.

Re:What Is the Clock Made of? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077051)

As the article said, this is nowhere near the limit for RF transistors.

Another person pasted some of the abstract of the actual paper, and despite the article containing the words "clocked at", all that was demonstrated was unity gain (i.e. gain cutoff) at 26 GHz for an RF signal, NOT remotely close to digital switching at 26 GHz.

RF test equipment that goes to 40-50 GHz is common (albeit expensive), and specialty test equipment even higher.

See, for example:
http://www.home.agilent.com/agilent/product.jspx?nid=-536902959.0.00&cc=US&lc=eng [agilent.com]

http://www.home.agilent.com/agilent/product.jspx?nid=-34374.761699.00&cc=US&lc=eng [agilent.com]

Also, even if switching had been demonstrated at a given frequency, that doesn't mean a CPU at that frequency is going to happen. Even with aggressive pipelining, the propagation delay through a digital circuit will be at least 3-4 propagation delays of a single transistor or gate. As we saw with the move from the P4 to the Core 2 series, aggressive pipelining for high clock speed doesn't always work for CPUs due to the IPC penalty a long pipeline has.

fuzzy math (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26075847)

graphene = 26 GHz

"The fastest silicon transistors are an order of magnitude faster than that but the record is held by indium phosphide transistors which have topped 1000 GHz"

Correct me if i'm wrong, but an "order of magnitude faster" would make silicon clock out at 26,000 GHz, would it not?

26,000 GHz > 1000 GHz

Re:fuzzy math (2, Informative)

defnoz (1128875) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076335)

Corrected ;) [wikipedia.org]

Re:fuzzy math (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077257)

No. An order of magnitude is 10x.

carbon footprint (1)

BobVila (592015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075865)

Does this mean that in the future we will be able to take sequestered carbon and make electronics out of it? And diamonds are an allotrope of carbon too, let's make jewelry out of it too. It probably uses too much energy to make carbon bond in that way. I don't know the specifics.

Artificial Intelligence, Here We Come! (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075873)

This is precisely the kind of innovation we need to get to the kind of AI we want. Giving us the ability to do the right-hemisphere's job is what these kinds of transistor speeds will give us.

Re:Artificial Intelligence, Here We Come! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26076415)

The limit isn't computer hardware, it's our understanding. You can have infinitely fast hardware but without the algorithms to use on it, you'll never have an artificial intelligence.

Re:Artificial Intelligence, Here We Come! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076501)

Speed has nothing to do with artificial Intelligence. Unless by AI you mean systems that look up 'responses' to mimic what an AI might do.

Learn the difference.
AI will come from mimicking the brain. In fact, I will go so far to say that we will have AI before we know everything about the brain.
Limited testing has shown that a neural network designed to model the brain behave like the brain. Very limited tests at this point.

Re:Artificial Intelligence, Here We Come! (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077097)

1) Demonstrating unity gain (not switching) at 26 GHz is nothing.
2) AI will likely require an approach similar to actual biological brains - massively parallel at a low clock speed.

Re:Artificial Intelligence, Here We Come! (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077189)

So we need to wire up a bunch of z80s?

Graphene from CO2? (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076205)

If IBM can also produce graphene out of greenhouse CO2 they'll also get the thankfulness from the Whole World!

Cool (1)

roland_mai (852416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076227)

My pencil will be finally worth something.

Re:Cool (2, Funny)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076525)

Depends on how good you are at sketching circuits...

Graphene is great for young scientists.. but.... (4, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076431)

OK, if you are an undergrad deciding on your choice for thesis and postgrad studies, graphene is great. There is a lot of companies, including Nokia, that pour tons and tons of money into graphene research. It's the easiest grant money to get these days.

That said, there's a reason you don't see much GaAS integrated circuits, even though GaAs has been around for decades, and has much higher carrier mobility (and therefore top speeds) than silicon: it's hard to devise a good IC technology for GaAs. For graphene the problems are way, way bigger than that even. I have seen some attempts of my colleagues (I research in nanosci) at fabricating graphene transistors, and while they can make discrete components with a certain limited rate of success, integration is not even on the horizon. Maybe other people around the world use technologies that are more promising, but it will take a great effort to knock silicon off the top spot for the time being. In fact, I predict a brighter immediate future for Si/Ge and some III/V group compounds as the successors of pure Si, as the next big thing in IC tech.

Re:Graphene is great for young scientists.. but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077637)

i just switched uni to be able to write my master thesis in elementary particles and i still wonder if that was the right thing to do, after all at my old uni they're doing research on graphene.

it's not that i found it boring, but i thought particle physics is more interesting. still particles and solid state physics are a bit similar so i could still switch back to do my phd (if i wanted to do that which i don't know yet) in SSD, but well... *scratches head*

Even faster CPUs (2, Funny)

zorro-z (1423959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26076757)

I tell ya, Graphene-based CPUS will even be able to run Vista at a decent clip.

-Z

I don't think that means what you think it means.. (1)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077337)

The summary mentions graphene transistors "clocked" at 26 GHz. Though the summary author could be using "clocked" to simply mean "measured" (like you clock someone's speed in the 100m dash), it is easy to confuse this with the clocking that occurs normally in digital circuits.

What is measured at 26 GHz here is the f_T of the transistor, which is a measure of the frequency limit at which point the transistor provides unity gain (or, in other words, past which point the transistor attenuates, rather than amplifies, a signal). It is essential in RF circuits to be operating well below the f_T of your transistors in order for your oscillators, amplifiers, and the like to perform properly and produce minimal noise.

In other words, yay graphene! It's taking its first steps toward becoming a viable alternative to Si, which is always good to have, if even just on the back burner.

pfft (1)

dezent (952982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077355)

They cant match my 9000 TERRAFLOPS OF RAM!1!!

TH+IS FP FOR GNAA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26077507)

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