Graphene Computer Chip Runs On Light, Instead Of Electricity
Posted: September 18, 2013 by Alex Chan
A material called graphen makes it possible for computing to get a little bit greener.
Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have managed to combine a graphene photodetector with a standard silicon chip. The hybrid device is said to transform light frequencies used in telecommunications into electrical signals. This is pretty revolutionary knowing that today's chips require electricity.
Not only that, it can transform light into electrical signals, but graphene allows for a particularly fast conversion, which is also pretty important. What's more, these new chips could cut back on power consumption and heat production, as well as they could be much faster and cheaper to make. The sheer volume of research, the complete scientific results have now been published in the journal Nature Photonics.
From the above, we can conclude that "the strongest material in the world" will soon make the jump from the lab to the computer factory. However, this is only the beginning for graphene-based computer chips.
In 2013, the European Union gave Nokia a $1.35 billion grant to develop the material and to detect its future applications. Reportedly only one atom thick and 300 times stronger than steel, graphene first came in the spotlight in 2010, when two researchers won the Nobel Prize in Physics for demonstrating how the transparent and flexible material could be used to make touchscreens, light panels and solar cells.