Graphene microchips – Know The Basics

There is a new kid on the block when it comes to microchips and its name is grapheme. It is a new technology that has the potential to produce enormous benefits in just a few years from now. IBM claims that they have a grapheme chip that is the most innovative and fully functional integrated circuit ever made. It is the size of a wafer and it has the ability to perform over 10,000 times better than they had previously reported.

There are however some issues that need to be addressed when manufacturing an atomically thin substance like grapheme. The problem is that the graphene strand is both hard to control and very delicate. Graphene is extremely strong in accordance to its weight, however, a single strand is so small and therefore weak that it is difficult to reliably manufacture.


Example of Graphene Flash Memory. Source: Extremetech

The problem would not be important if you were just making a single strand but when you need to manufacture billions of strands then the accuracy rate turns out to be quite a challenge. Therefore, if the market requires billions of graphene microchips, how useful will they be if they had to manufacture on a large scale?

The researcher teams at IBM have stated that they have perfected a new approach to this manufacturing issue. It is a process that has its base using a CMOS manufacturing process. They have claimed to be able to produce a multistage radio frequency receiver for grapheme. This is the most up to date graphene integrated circuit known to man.

Another group of researchers at MIT has been trying a few experiments using a graphene oxide. This graphene oxide has proven to be useful. For example, they have added an oxygen atom to grapheme to produce a graphene oxide. This allows the graphene oxide to become a semiconductor instead of a conductor. However, they say that the oxygenation of the each of the strands at this point is still not unreliable. The bottom line is that it will be impossible to sell any of the grapheme computer chips until they are 100% reliable.

This new method of treatment is done with a low temperature of between 40-80 degrees Celsius. This is an improvement over the traditional method of a high 900 degree treatment. The research for graphene processors is continuing to come closer into being a reality. Once it happens, the manufacturers will be able to produce these on a profitable larger scale. This will eventually replace the more common silicon chips once these grapheme chips are functional.

IBM states that they have pioneered the grapheme process to a point where the various graphene devices and circuits are able to perform with all of the modern wireless communication functions. This allows grapheme to be comparable to all of the silicon technologies. Supratik Guha, who is a director of the physical science department at the research facilities at IBM is extremely excited about the many uses of this new grapheme microchip.


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