The incredible shrinking chip

August 14, 2003 – Researchers at Texas Instruments and the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, are working on techniques to enable the building of semiconductor chips half the size of current chips. A total of $2.2 million has been provided to the research team through a National Science Foundation grant and contributed services from TI and the university.

The bulk of the work will be done by graduate students, who are focusing on solving the problem of “cross talk,” electron interference that is blocking efforts to shrink chip size. Cross talk results when electrons move in an uncontrolled manner; the researchers are trying to get electrons to travel down copper wire in an orderly manner. “If you want electrons to do something, you have to direct them,” said Dennis Mueller, a UNT physics professor.

The grant is part of a national push to help scientists deliver on the high promise of nanotechnology.


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