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Researchers take nanowire transistors vertical, double up on density

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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.

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