Team builds first computer solely from carbon nanotube transistors

Sept. 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM
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STANFORD, Calif., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The first computer built solely from carbon nanotube transistors is capable of running an operating system and multitasking, its U.S. and German builders said.

The work backs up predictions that carbon nanotubes are a promising alternative to silicon as building blocks for computers, said Max Shulaker of Stanford University in California.

Carbon nanotube transistor circuits offer very high power efficiency and are projected to outperform silicon-based circuits, the scientists said.

While carbon nanotube electronic circuits have been developed over the past decade, Shulaker and colleagues said their computer represents a complete carbon nanotube computer, a first.

They also demonstrated that the computer was capable of multitasking by perform simultaneous counting and integer sorting tasks.

Carbon nanotube transistor circuits promise increased speed, and the authors see they see no obstacles in expanding the functionality of the computer further. They said the demonstration confirmed their conclusions that carbon nanotube transistor-based circuits are a feasible emerging technology for building the next generation of energy-efficient electronic systems.

A report of Shulaker and Franz Kreupl, of the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany was published in the latest edition of Nature.

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