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Researchers Use Excitons to Develop Superfast Circuits

January 13th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments


New breakthrough uses commercially achievable cold temperatures

Researchers at UC San Diego have made a breakthrough in integrated circuits using a particle type called excitons that can operate at commercially available cold temperatures. The breakthrough could one day lead to computers that are capable of running much faster than the machines we use today.

The same team made a similar discovery last summer with the development of an integrated circuit that was capable of working at 1.5 degrees Kelvin. The researchers point out that that temperature is warmer than the average temperature in space.

The new discovery is of a similar integrated circuit that can operate using excitons at 125 degrees Kelvin, equivalent to minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit. That is still a very cold temperature, but it can be achieved with commercially available liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen costs about as much as gasoline. The previous discovery requiring temperatures of minus 457 degrees Fahrenheit was only achievable in specially outfitted labs.

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