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A sound barrier for silicon?


For the first time in thirty five years, the clockspeed of the fastest commercial computer chips has not increased. Is the semiconductor industry just pausing for breath or about to suffer a fate similar to that of aerospace?

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Figure 1: A 'sound barrier' for silicon? The top clockspeed of Intel microprocessors as a function of time (data summarized from Intel's website).
Figure 2: The importance of the gate-oxide thickness.
Figure 3: Cruising speed (in miles per hour) of commercial19 and military aircraft20.


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Muller, D. A sound barrier for silicon?. Nature Mater 4, 645–647 (2005).

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