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Electromechanical switch operates in extreme heat

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) writes | about 4 years ago

Hardware 2

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) writes "Science Daily is reporting that researchers at Case Western Reserve University have taken the first step to building a computer capable of operating in extreme heat.

Te-Hao Lee, Swarup Bhunia and Mehran Mehregany, have made electromechanical switches — building blocks of circuits — that can take twice the heat that would render electronic transistors useless. Their work was published in Science last month.

The group used electron beam lithography and sulfur hexafluoride gas to etch the switches, just a few hundred nanometers in size, out of silicon carbide. The result is a switch that has no discernable leakage and no loss of power in testing at 500 degrees Celsius.

A pair of switches were used to make an inverter, which was able to switch on and off 500,000 times per second, performing computation each cycle. The switches, however, began to break down after 2 billion cycles and in a manner the researchers do not yet fully understand.

Whether they can reach the point of competing with faster transistors for office and home and even supercomputing, remains to be seen. The researchers point out that with the ability to handle much higher heat, the need for costly and space-consuming cooling systems would be eliminated."

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cool story (1)

glassesmonkey (684291) | about 4 years ago | (#33834026)

So your new computers that run at 500 deg C will last for a whole hour operating at 500kHz. Revolutionary....

minteyler (1)

minteyler (1918344) | about 4 years ago | (#33843644)

I would not use a mechanical relay....way to slow. I would use a power mosfet to do your switching. This would almost be instant and probably the fastest. If you need faster switching go to Digikey.com and ask there guys for help. They can get you very fast transistors in the neighborhood of less than 5ms. http://renadexsite.com/ [renadexsite.com]
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