DMS as CMOS successor?

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Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have published some interesting work on the future of semiconductors. Their work could give rise to a new class of semiconductor in the form of a dilute magnetic semiconductor (DMS).

The DMS is one possible evolution of CMOS technology, which aims to use the spin of electrons to transmit information, instead of a flow of electrons as relied on by CMOS technology.

Researchers have used germanium on a silicon P-type substrate on which to create the quantum dots needed to control the spin of electrons, which are then carried by a magnetic field. It is this modification of the electron spin which will carry information (memory) or change the properties of the ferromagnetic component (transistor).

This method has two advantages over previous technologies; the first is that germanium and silicon are already used in the production of current chips, which makes it far easier for manufacturers to adapt their current production tools appropriately. The second is that as the electron spin is in a quantum state, its configuration and information state does not change in the presence or absence of electrical power. As a result, these chips should not require any form of standby or power-saving mode.

It now remains to make functional chips, in order to move beyond the laboratory stage. This is a new avenue of research, so it's unlikely that there will be anything marketable within five years or more.

Source: PhysOrg