Carbon Nanotubes: A Solution To The Burning Interconnect Problem?
Volume 2, Issue 4
Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Technical University of Munich
John C. Miller, Arrowhead Research Corporation
David Mann, Stanford University
For the last forty years, the electronics industry was able to meet consumer demand for faster and smaller products by doubling the number of transistors on a chip every 18 months. In the coming years, it is clear that the semiconductor industry will face a variety of challenges in keeping pace with Moore's Law. One of the most pressing issues confronting semiconductor device manufacturers in the near term involve the metallic wires that carry electricity and signals on a chip. As feature sizes are made smaller, copper interconnects will become less reliable. In this article, a team of technical and business writers explain why carbon nanotubes might offer a solution to the interconnect problem. They provide an overview of interconnects, explain the problems with copper, describe why carbon nanotubes could be a suitable replacement, and then identify engineering challenges that must be overcome for the semiconductor industry to integrate nanotubes into existing CMOS manufacturing.
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