National Physical Laboratory (NPL) researchers report Moore's Law will not cease around 2020.
While most industry experts believe 22 nm will be the maximum achievable process shrink using silicon, this due to extraordinary quantum and heat effects observed at such levels, there are many researchers looking for alternate solutions to push beyond.
The quantum and heat effects observed at such small feature sizes begin to impede transistor function because there are very small quantities of silicon and copper doing the work. Small quantities of these substances means they use less power and can switch faster, but it also means other effects are far more pronounced as the signal-to-noise ratio is greatly reduced.
NPL researchers believe they may have found a new set of materials which could keep Moore's Law going long after 22 nm and 2020.
NPL's solution comes atop a manganese-doped (Mn) germanium (Ge) substrate. There, Ge nanowires are created and artificially magnetized. NPL reports the magnetizing effect exhibits properties which demonstrate "the potential of using these nanowires as building blocks for electronic devices," such as "ferromagnetism above 300 K and a superior performance with respect to the hole mobility of around 340 cm2/Vs and other industrially relevant parameters."