Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

IBM's speedy graphene chip could lead to super-efficient mobile devices

Chips with graphene inside are theoretically quicker than plain silicon designs, but they've been slow in practice; the manufacturing process often damages the graphene, stripping away its speed advantage. That won't be a big problem with IBM's prototype radio receiver, though. The company inserted graphene transistors into the new chip only after it finished assembling the mostly silicon design, keeping the more exotic material intact. The resulting integrated circuit is about 10,000 times more powerful than previous parts, IBM claims. The test unit hasn't done more than send a text message so far, but it could lead to future wireless radios that are both faster and consume less power. If you eventually get a graphene-powered smartphone with great data speeds and a long battery life, you'll know who to thank.