news hardware Discovery of a new material that can increase the performance of computer chips
A team of researchers from the famous MIT, in collaboration with the University of Houston, recently found an alternative to silicon to make the semiconductor of tomorrow, its name: cubic boron arsenide.
After lithium, researchers are now looking for a successor to silicon
If there is one thing to remember with the Covid crisis in the electronics and technology market, it is that it is really not good to rely on only one type of resource and one supplier.
For several weeks now, we have seen studies and research flourish on the batteries of tomorrow, to rely less on rare materials in general and lithium in particular.
Among all the more or less advanced approaches, we have seen that researchers work in particular around the
elements already known to improve current batteries, while others have gone down much more tortuous paths, setting their sights on
or even the
Finally, global warming and increasingly regular heat waves confirm those who think that the energy of the future is in photovoltaic panels
and that all you need to do is paste it everywhere to be self-contained.
But there is another area that suffers from a quasi-monopoly that many researchers want to break, that of semiconductors. In this domain, the king of the world is called silicon.
Without it, or rather without semiconductors, how to say… Without PCs, without consoles, without smartphones, without televisions, etc etc, without wholesale digital objects. Going back to the Amish model as the others would say…
Suddenly, between the shortage linked to Covid and the not necessarily optimal properties of silicon, the most widely used semiconductor on the market, researchers are struggling to find a successor and thus highlighted cubic boron arsenide.
Cubic boron arsenide, the semiconductor of tomorrow that everyone has been waiting for
The study that interests us today was published a few days ago in the scientific journal Science and was carried out jointly by researchers from the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in partnership with the University of Houston.
For the record, in super shortcut, A semiconductor is a chemical compound that is halfway between an insulator and a superconductor.. They are used everywhere in electronics past and present and are well suited to our everyday devices.
However, the use of silicon, if it is facilitated by its great availability (it is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen), poses some problems that we are all aware of: excessive heating.
If your smartphone or your computer gets too hot, that’s partly because it doesn’t conduct heat particularly well, and therefore that’s why we need ever more sophisticated, expensive and power-hungry cooling systems.
For two years now, researchers have been interested in another promising semiconductor material: cubic boron arsenide.
Having theorized that it was better in every way than silicon, they were finally able to experiment with it and the results are clear. If it comes out slightly better than silicon when it comes to electron transfer, it would simply be 10 times more efficient in terms of heat dissipation.
The great project of these next ones will be to find a way to produce enough of this new material to be able to test it and integrate it on a large scale in a host of electronic devices, from the simple watch connected to the electric car to laptops or smartphones. A great hope for the future.
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