A Stanford University team of engineers has developed the first working computer built using carbon nanotube transistors (CNT) that are claimed to increase the speed of electronic devices.
Developed by using non-metallic CNTs, the new computer is said to be running a basic operating system, while it can perform calculations and swap between different processes running at the same time.
The point of developing the computer was to demonstrate that transistors made with the carbon fibres can be assembled into a general purpose computer, according to the team.
Stanford University electrical engineer Max Shulaker said: "This shows that you can build working, useful circuits out of carbon nanotubes and they can be manufactured reliably."
Computer scientist Subhasish Mitra added that there have been few demonstrations of complete digital systems using this technology.
"It's not just about the CNT computer. It's about a change in directions that shows you can build something real using nanotechnologies that move beyond silicon and its cousins," Mitra said.
The scientists connected 985 of the nanotube computers, each containing 178 carbon nanotube transistors on a single chip wafer, by using standard chip-fabrication techniques and design tools.
According to the experts, the development would pave way for development of successor to silicon chips, which are expected to reach physical limits and hinder the development of smaller, faster, cheaper electronic devices.
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