Speedier cell-phone circuitry
Researchers at IBM have made the best integrated circuits yet from graphene, a material that promises much faster components than silicon allows, but has proven difficult to work with.
The team made the circuits using existing manufacturing methods, showing that graphene could be used to make faster, more power-efficient radio communications circuitry for cell phones, and other wireless devices.
The researchers made a frequency mixer, combining one graphene transistor and two metal inductors. These devices are used in cell phones to convert the radio signal used to transmit information into another signal in a frequency range that the human ear can hear.
The resulting circuits operate at 10 gigahertz — much faster than previous graphene circuits.
The researchers plan to make the circuits on the scale of tens rather than hundreds of nanometers in length. “They can easily be ten times smaller,” says IBM’s Yu-Ming Lin.