Intel and QinetiQ Collaborate On Transistor Research

Feb 09, 2005

The results of a two-year joint research programme by Intel Corporation and QinetiQ into new transistor technology that could become a promising candidate for making microprocessors in the middle of the next decade was made public today. Transistors are the tiny switches in microprocessors that process the ones and zeros of the digital world.

Researchers from the two companies have successfully built 'quantum well' transistors by integrating a new transistor material, pioneered by QinetiQ called indium antimonide (InSb). InSb is made up of elements found in the III and V columns of the periodic table. Transistors made of this material enable research devices to operate at very low voltages, while still rapidly switching and consuming little power. The research results obtained from the quantum well transistors research showed a 10x lower power consumption for the same performance, or conversely a 3x improvement in transistor performance for the same power consumption, as compared to today's traditional transistors.

"The experimental results of our joint research with QinetiQ demonstrate that indium antimonide is a promising material for potential integration in future transistors," said Ken David, director of components research for Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "Indium antimonide is one example of several new materials that Intel will continue to investigate in order to ensure that Moore's Law extends well beyond the next decade."

"We first developed Indium antimonide transistor technology as part of a UK Ministry of Defence project," added Tim Phillips, business manager of the Fast Transistors group at QinetiQ. "And although this research is still in the initial phase it still shows huge promise for advanced applications. It is also a great example of how QinetiQ, by working with other world leading companies like Intel, is commercialising many of its technologies."

The culmination of a two-year collaboration between Intel and QinetiQ on the research and development of III V transistors for high-performance and low power logic applications, the results were obtained on a "depletion mode" InSb NMOS transistor. Such transistors are normally on and can be turned off by applying a negative voltage to the gate which is in contrast to the more common practice of applying a voltage to switch a gate, when required.

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

Frontier science in ocean-going lab

10 minutes ago

Oceanographer Dr Martina Doblin is preparing for one of the most significant explorations of her career. In early June, a mobile laboratory known as the Micro-CSI will leave from Brisbane aboard Australia's ...

How to alert drivers to fatigue

30 minutes ago

Frank Black is a professional truck driver, having clocked up nearly three decades travelling the breadth of Australia. But every time he gets into his cab, Black thinks about driver fatigue; over the years ...

Recommended for you

Energy-tracking app encourages sustainable behaviors

1 hour ago

For a generation motivated by technology and fast-moving information, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created an energy-tracking app to make reducing day-to-day energy usage more accessible.

Google big Android Wear update adds functions, fun

3 hours ago

Android Wear's Monday announcement of new features is drawing many compliments from those watching out for what's next in making a smartwatch purchase. The new attractions include the lightness of wearing ...

Data deluge: MLB rolls out Statcast analytics on Tuesday

4 hours ago

Which outfielder sprints the fastest and runs the longest to snag line drives into the gap? Which shortstop is best at throwing from the grass to nip the runner at first? Which catcher gets the ball to second ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.