Researchers take nanowire transistors vertical, double up on density


3D silicon is all the rage, and now nanowire transistors have further potential to keep Moore's Law on life support. Researchers at A*STAR have found a way to double the number of transistors on a chip by placing the atomic-scale wires vertically, rather than in the run-of-the-mill planar mode, creating two "wrap-around gates" that put a pair of transistors on a single nanowire. In the future, the tech could be merged with tunnel field effect transistors -- which use dissimilar semiconductor materials -- to create a markedly denser design. That combo would also burn a miniscule percentage of the power required conventionally, according to the scientists, making it useful for low-powered processors, logic boards and non-volatile memory, for starters. So, a certain Intel founder might keep being right after all, at least for a few years more.