||This article appears to contradict itself about the size of the smallest transistor. (October 2014)|
The 5 nanometer (5 nm) node is the technology node following the 7 nm node. Although Intel has not yet divulged any certain plans to manufacturers or retailers, their 2009 roadmap projects an end-user release by approximately 2020. According to some experts, 5 nm will be the end of Moore's law.
In 2006, a team of Korean researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the National Nano Fab Center codeveloped a 3 nm transistor, the world's smallest nanoelectronic device based on conventional technology, called a fin field-effect transistor (FinFET). It was the smallest transistor ever produced.
In 2012 a single atom transistor was fabricated using a phosphorus atom bound to a silicon surface (between two significantly larger electrodes). This transistor could be said to be a 180 pm transistor (the Van der Waals radius of a phosphorus atom); though its covalent radius bound to silicon is likely smaller. Making transistors smaller than this will require either using elements with smaller atomic radii, or using subatomic particles—like electrons or protons—as functional transistors.
Continuing the pattern of halving the surface area of each node (or reducing the square sides by 1.4) every two years, it can be expected that 4 nm technology will appear in roughly 2022, 3 nm in 2024, 2 nm in 2026, and lastly 1 nm in 2028, which may be the limit for current lithographic semiconductor silicon technology as presently implemented. As a result 2030 and beyond may see a shift in technology to enable smaller components in the form of silicene or silicon nanotubes.
In 2008, transistors one atom thick and ten atoms wide were made by UK researchers. They were carved from graphene, predicted by some to one day oust silicon as the basis of future computing. Graphene is a material made from flat sheets of carbon in a honeycomb arrangement, and is a leading contender. A team at the University of Manchester, UK, used it to make some of the smallest transistors at this time: devices only 1 nm across that contain just a few carbon rings.
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- Still Room at the Bottom.(nanometer transistor developed by Yang-kyu Choi from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology )
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- Samsung's Kim Claims No Limit to Scaling
- Atom-thick material runs rings around silicon
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