Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have again broken their own speed record for the world’s fastest transistor. With a frequency of 845 gigahertz, their latest device is approximately 300 gigahertz faster than transistors built by other research groups, and approaches the goal of a terahertz device.
Made from indium phosphide and indium gallium arsenide, “the new transistor utilizes a pseudomorphic grading of the base and collector regions,” said Milton Feng, the Holonyak Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Illinois. “The compositional grading of these components enhances the electron velocity, hence, reduces both current density and charging time.”
With their latest device, Feng and his research group have taken the transistor to a new range of high-speed operation, bringing the “Holy Grail” of a terahertz transistor finally within reach. Faster transistors translate into faster computers, more flexible and secure wireless communications systems, and more effective combat systems.