Transistors could be termed as the most incredible invention by mankind. After all, it is this invention that has made compact Electronic Devices possible. So, it wouldn't be an overstatement to say, today's world wouldn't be possible without transistors.

When transistors were first invented, they were bulky. Gradually, transistors became smaller and electronic devices shrank in size. Today, we don’t even talk about them as the number of transistors crammed onto a computer chip isn’t relevant to us. But how small can transistors actually get?

Silicon transistors

Transistors are used in almost all electronic devices today. Their capacity to amplify electrical signals has made them the single most important part of microchips, a component vital to all electrical devices.

The transistors used these days are made of silicon which is easy to manufacture and has high efficiency and consistency. In addition, the size of transistors continued to decrease over the years. By Moore’s law, the size of a transistor was estimated to half every two years. So far, that has been the case.

However, the current silicon transistor has almost reached its limit. Little can be done to decrease the size of current silicon transistors. At such a time, a change in medium comes to light.

Carbon nanotubes

Scientists were able to successfully develop transistors made of carbon nanotubes instead of silicon. IBM researchers reported in the 356th volume of Science, that the next decade would see the reduction of the entire footprint of a transistor to 40 nanometers.

Experimentation with Carbon Nanotubes has been going on for a while.

However, successful attempt at a compact transistor had never been concluded. The developed transistor would not only boast a higher efficiency but consume less power as well.

Moore’s law

Gordon Moore, co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel observed in a paper published in 1965 that the number of transistors on a circuit would double every two years.

This prediction has been true for several decades now. However, currently, there seems to be no further shrinking.

So recently, it looked as though Moore’s law was dying. But the surfacing of carbon nanotubes might just be what is needed to keep the law alive.

In a leap advancement in transistor technology, the published study promises great success and may be in use sooner than expected.