Following up on a 2007 world record for the fastest transistor speed, Northrop Grumman announced today that it has shattered the world record for integrated circuit performance. The new circuit layout operates at 0.67 terahertz, or 0.67 trillion cycles per second, more than doubling the frequency of the fastest known IC in the world.
A computer chip using nanotube circuitry can run much faster than a regular silicon chip, for a fraction of the cost, but no one has been able to effectively string together two nanotube transistors, let alone the thousands needed for a chip. Until now: researchers at Stanford University have built the first nanotube circuits, by stamping multiple layers of nanotubes on top of one another.
NEC and Rohm are going back and forth on new engineering breakthroughs that will allow integrated circuits inside chips to consume no power when they're briefly inactive between cycles. And unlike most chip-level developments on the edge, we may see the technology in consumer products by the end of the year.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.