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Plugging the Leaks; Transistors
Article from Bulletin/Magazine
The Economist (http://search.proquest.com/) vol. 400 no. 8747 (Aug. 2011)
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Moore's Law--the prediction made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, that the number of transistors on a chip of given size would double every two years--has had a good innings. If the law continues on its merry way, transistors will be the size of individual silicon atoms within two decades. More to the point, they have already shrunk to a size where every atom counts. Too few atoms can cause their insulation to break down, or allow current to leak to places it is not supposed to be because of a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling. Too many atoms of the wrong sort, though, can be equally bad, interfering with a transistor's conductivity. Engineers are therefore endeavouring to redesign transistors yet again, so that Dr Moore's prediction can remain true a little longer.
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