The world’s first 4-nanometer compound transistor has been developed by the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL), a major breakthrough in semiconductor manufacturing technology, as the smallest compound transistors that can be commercially produced are 14-nanometers.
According to Moore’s law, the number of transistors in a dense IC doubles approximately every two years, which means transistors shrink to fit more semiconductor nodes into an IC, NARL researcher Chen Min-cheng (陳旻政) said yesterday.
The iPhone 6, released in September last year, uses a 20-nanometer chip produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which was able to mass produce the 16-nanometer chips used in the iPhone 6S released in September, Chen said, adding that the iPhone 6S also used a 14-nanometer chip supplied by Samsung Electronics Co, making the production of semiconductors a highly competitive industry.
Five-nanometer transistors were thought to be the end of Moore’s law for scaling electronic devices, as 5 nanometers represents the physical limit of silicon, which is almost always used in semiconductor production, Chen said.
“However, the NARL developed a 4-nanometer transistor by using molybdenum disulfide compound, a semiconductor that is starting to be used in combination with silicone,” he said.
The NARL also developed a semiconductor manufacturing technology that could double the speed of electrical conduction by carving a fourth channel into the transistor — compared with the traditional three-channel design — to create an extra route for the electrical current to pass through, he said.
The channel is coated with germanium, which is a semiconductor like silicon, but has faster electrical conductivity, so it is generally considered to be the first semiconductor material to be mass produced after silicon, he said.
The NARL said that the technologies could be transferred to Taiwanese semiconductor companies to improve their competitiveness.
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by