Researchers make a 16-bit RISC-V CPU using carbon nanotubes

Posted on Friday, Aug 30 2019 @ 21:54 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
MIT researchers created the first RISC-V processor that does not use silicon but carbon nanotube. The chip has 16-bit memory addressing but can handle 32-bit instructions. All of the carbon nanotube chip's 14,000 transistors were fully functional and it was able to run a simple "Hello world" style programming demo.

ARS Technica covers the chip in more detail. Overall, it's an impressive demonstration, but we're still very far from carbon nanotube chips that can perform real-world workloads:
Overall, this is an impressive bit of engineering and an important validation that we can integrate carbon nanotubes with our existing chipmaking processes, as well as with the additional electronics that are necessary for a processor to function. But it doesn't go very far in terms of solving the issues that keep carbon nanotubes from reaching their full potential.
RISC-V carbon nanotubes CPU

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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