Full throttle

2019-03-06 06:14:01

By Jeff Hecht in Boston A SPEED limit on future computers may be broken thanks to a new breed of insulating materials that makes microchips work much faster. Insulating layers of silicon dioxide play a key role in microchips. The thinner the layers the faster the circuits switch on and off, processing data. But the downside is that thinner layers let current through, causing unwanted, corrupting “noise”. To plug these leaks you need an insulator with a high “dielectric constant”. Such compounds do exist,