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Eliminating Moore’s Law With Phosphorus Atom Transistor

Scientists are trying to break the boundaries of Moore’s law by taking a phosphorus atom and create a working transistor as the gate to control electrical flow.

Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computer manufacturing whereby the number of transistors that can be placed in the same amount of space doubles approximately every two years.

Michelle Simmons, director of ARC Center for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales, Australia, took an atom and etched it into a silicon bed with “gates” to control electrical flow and metallic contacts to apply voltage to start/stop current.  It’s the first such device to be precisely positioned using a technique that can be repeated.

“We really decided 10 years ago to start this program to try and make single-atom devices as fast as we could, and beat that law,” said Michelle Simmons, director of ARC Center for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales, Australia. “So here we are in 2012, and we’ve made a single-atom transistor roughly 8 to 10 years ahead of where the industry is going to be.”

The big caveat to this is the requirement the atom must remain at or below 391 degrees Fahrenheit to keep it from migrating out of it’s channel [what ever that means].  Because of this requirement, the test is only a proof of concept to the ability rather then a proof of concept in manufacturing.

Moore’s law hasn’t been broken yet, but this experiment shows it eventually will.

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