Feeds

UV breakthrough promises cheaper chips

Sunbeds for silicon

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Researchers are claiming a breakthrough which could revolutionise how microchips are manufactured, potentially slashing their cost.

A team at UCL says it has developed a new way to induce silicon to oxidise. Silicon oxide layers are a key in microchips, insulating and protecting the silicon, storing charge and controlling currents. It forms very slowly naturally, so chip makers heat their silicon to around 1000°C, a process which costs a lot in energy.

Electronic engineers found a way to use less energy-hungry UV lamps to get the oxide to form by breaking apart oxygen molecules on the material's surface.

Professor Ian Boyd, who led the research, said: "Our finding has the potential to completely overhaul the way that the microelectronic industry processes silicon.

"This finding means that the industry's energy, and subsequent cost savings, could reduce the prices of electronic devices for consumers and, of course, create a positive environmental impact." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.