Magazine Nature Electronics published a breakthrough by Peking University related to the use of carbon nanotubeswhat can help China upgrade your equipment chip production. Let’s not forget that they do not currently have access to key technologies to develop the most advanced lithographs. What are these successes and why can they turn the current situation around 180°?
For several years now, carbon nanotubes have been seen as the successor to modern transistor technology. Cause? This allows for faster state changes, resulting in much higher clock speeds than with today’s technology. In addition to a significant reduction in energy losses. However, while promising on paper, the challenge lies in implementing semiconductor manufacturing technology on a large scale, especially when combined with traditional transistors.
China develops carbon nanotube technology equivalent to 7nm
Peking University has succeeded in developing a field-effect transistor based on carbon nanotube technology. 90nm. This has characteristics equivalent to lithographs. Intel 7 or N7 from TSMC. This could help China catch up when it comes to developing new chips and manufacturing them. In addition, being an internal development they could bypass the blockade imposed by the United States and allow them to have greater independence without being subject to trade restrictions.
The research team refined their design by using several different sizes of transistors. started with FET 175nm carbon nanotubes in terms of density equivalent to density, consumption and clock speed than traditional 45nm CMOS, as well as its thermal characteristics. His next move? Move 90 nautical miles for the size of nanotubes, find an improvement of the same caliber. However, achieving this was not easy, as they needed to solve the main problem. And it’s that in order to scale to the equivalent of “7nm” TSMC and Intel nodes, researchers at Peking University had to find a way to properly cut carbon nanotubes.
Despite this, it is not yet ready for the production of chips.
However, despite the progress made in this regard, the results of this study have yet to be implemented on a large scale. While this will allow China access to technology equivalent to TSMC’s N7, the reality is that China will remain at a disadvantage compared to large factories for years to come. Undoubtedly, the use of carbon nanotubes will help them to have chips with better technical characteristics at the same density in relation to use. traditional CMOS technology.
In any case, it will be necessary to see if this translates into a real production process and whether it remains a simple laboratory study and, therefore, another joke. At the moment, it is SMIC that has a 7 nm node, but it must be borne in mind that this information has ceased to speak of a real specification, but has become a marketing tool.