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New Solution For Your Transistor BBQ

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the but-the-ribs-aren't-done-yet dept.

Technology 191

servantsoldier writes "There's a new solution for the transistor heat problem: Make them out of charcoal... The AP is reporting that Japanese researchers, led by Daisuke Nakamura of Toyota Central R&D Laboratories Inc., have discovered a way to use silicon carbide instead of silicon in the creation of transistor wafers. The Japanese researchers discovered that they can build silicon carbide wafers by using a multiple-step process in which the crystals are grown in several stages. As a result, defects are minimized. Other benefits are decreased weight and a more rugged material. The researchers say that currently only a 3" wafer has been produced and that a marketable product is at least six years away."

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An FP a day... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075882)

...keeps the men in the white unforms away.

Re:An FP a day... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075936)

Hmm... nah, it's more likely to attract them.

Re:An FP a day... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075953)

No, you have it backwards. The men in white took me away, and now all I have to do all day is go for fp! So *only* one a day means the white men have been away!

Re:An FP a day... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075959)

Ooh, so desu ka.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075887)

Calculate PI while cooking a brat. Woot.

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

Stripe7 (571267) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075985)

Developments like this in Japan and other countries tell me the the US not losing its technological edge it has already lost it. Japan patents brand new tech like this while in the US we patent SUDO and 1 click shopping.

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076074)

I live in Japan and work for a Japanese company. Trust me, stupid business process patents are not unique to the U.S. Our company has attempted (sometimes successfully) to patent some of the most obvious, blatant crap by tagging "online" onto it. AND WE'RE NOT EVEN A TECH COMPANY!!

In the event that we find out that someone else already HAS "invented" this idea, it is usually NTT (Nippon Telephone and Telegraph) which has also registered the hell out of a shit load of trademarks that it doesn't use.

And, over here, there are a lot of people worried that we've really lost our tech edge against China and Taiwan. To a certain extent, I think they're right. China and Taiwan used to be copiers, not innovators. But then again, so was Japan half a century ago. Recently, China and Taiwan have started innovating too. It should have been obvious that they "could" innovate, about 18 years ago when the first fake Nintendo consoles from Taiwan were found. They say over 80% of the circuitry, including the CPU, was original, and not a copy. (Then again, a lot of the fake Apple IIe machines back then were pretty original too, sometimes with features that weren't available on the real thing!)

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076121)

Before, Taiwan (or Japan) would do just fine by making the same thing cheaper, now that doesn't quite cut it any more.

Necessity ... I'd say that overall, the ability to innovate is inversely proportional to well-being of individuals.

Money-hungry folks from India and China should out-innovate equally smart people from other countries, just because they're trying harder.

In some ways, I think social injustice is perhaps a motivating factor, too - unless you come up with something new, it's hard to make it to the top by hard work alone.

Re:Wow (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076273)

unless you come up with something new, it's hard to make it to the top by hard work alone.
Socialism.

I'm 5th (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075896)

And I'm dancing like a jaybird
So happy to be here
Won't you take a beer
Oh haven't you heard

sho fizzle

I for one... (-1, Redundant)

MojoReisen (218327) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075898)


welcome our new charcoal briquette overlords.

i wonder (1)

bigtallguy (757424) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075904)

when will they start using humans hair in the hopes that it will better our computers?

Re:I for one... (3, Funny)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075981)

Briquette's? A true geek would realise that the chunk charcoal overlord is vastly superior in flavor, heat, cleanup, and ability to lead the masses.

OMFGBBQ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075900)

Does this mean we may have very quiet, fan-less systems in the future?

WIndows 2003 out performs every Red Hat Linux conf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075901)

iguration. Seen first here on slashdot. Get the Facts.

Awesome (2, Funny)

twenty-exty-six (772817) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075902)

I'll finally be able to build that transistor grill I've always wanted. Reminds me of back in High School when we would try to cook things on bare 486 DX2 chips. The cookies came out ok I guess...

Well... (-1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075908)

Even if they aren't that resistant to heat, at least once they light up you'll be able to get a nice charcoal fire going. The problem traditional silicon has always been that once it lights it just kind of smolders out.

Re:Well... (1)

gmby (205626) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076084)

Yeah and I bet that "Magic Smoke" makes for a tasty steak!

--

Sigh, i must be really tired. (5, Funny)

Baka_kun (647710) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075910)

the text said "... that Japanese researchers, led by Daisuke Nakamura of Toyota Central R&D Laboratories Inc., ..."

but i read "...that Japanese researchers, led by Duke Nukem of Toyota Central R&D Laboratories Inc., ..."

other than this, Great, if this works in practice well be having new smaller cpus for everything.

but im still waiting for a pda without screen, that uses my glasses as a screen.. but thats more of scifi than reality.

Re:Sigh, i must be really tired. (2, Funny)

Nermal6693 (622898) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075932)

but im still waiting for a pda without screen, that uses my glasses as a screen.. but thats more of scifi than reality.

Making glasses into a screen is the easy part. The hard part is making them look like ordinary glasses, rather than a big sign proclaiming 'GEEK!'

Re:Sigh, i must be really tired. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076472)

Actually, Motorola has made design prototypes that were cool. I submitted the story but it seems the design utterly lacked the geekyness you feared, yet apparently is required in here.

Makes sense perhaps.

Re:Sigh, i must be really tired. (1)

Gnpatton (796694) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075935)

the text said "... that Japanese researchers, led by Daisuke Nakamura of Toyota Central R&D Laboratories Inc., ..." but i read "...that Japanese researchers, led by Duke Nukem of Toyota Central R&D Laboratories Inc., ..."
nono if you look further in the article they state that the technology won't be ready for industry for another 6 years, while we all know that the next Duke Nukem isn't going to be released before the universe (implodes / expands to a heatless state, whichever you believe)

Re:Sigh, i must be really tired. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076470)

The fact you read something wrong and thought it was funny only proves you're gay with bad eyesight

Finally... Heat can be put to good use (5, Interesting)

chatgris (735079) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075913)

This may be modded as funny.. But realistically, think about this.

The amount of heat being generated by chips does not seem to be decreasing at all, and this material appears to be produced to be "heat resistant" instead of more efficient.

How long until your PC puts out enough heat that it would be economical to re-use that heat for a hot water tank, or for winter heating?

How long until we need special 240V plugs like electric stoves have for power?

I think that emphasis on more efficient chips is a better venture than heat resistant materials, as the whole heat byproduct of CPU's seems to be sprialling out of control.

Josh

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075998)

Most countries have 240v to begin with.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076022)

You can do that right now. My Athlon 1800+ keeps my room nicely warm in winter, and it's a (relatively) low consumption chip.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

CamTarn (751785) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076029)

A couple of those, connected via heatpipe to a hotplate at the top of the case, would make an excellent hot-plate for a coffee or tea pot =)

As for the plugs - well, there's some way to go yet. At the moment, power supplies are on the order of 5-600W. An electric heater can put out up to 3000 or so watts.

I used to run a constantly-on heater, two PCs, three monitors, some random home networking equipment and a desk lamp all off a series of four-way power bars connected through a single 13A 230V UK plug. The plug didn't even get warm.

I've seen a small stage lighting rig - drawing tens of thousands of watts, at least - run off a single UK plug. Those things are insanely over-engineered for the loads that usually go through them.

That said, yes, looking for more efficient processors is a Good Thing. Even if it would be kinda cool to be able to throw away your case lighting and rely instead on the soft cherry-red glow coming from your heatsink...

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

CamTarn (751785) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076036)

Oh, before anyone tries the stage-lighting thing: it *worked*, but the plug got pretty hot and eventually the circuit breakers tripped. The problem was solved by splitting the load over two plugs on opposite sides of the stage =P

Ah, the days of helping out with school stage tech. I still don't think the music dept. has forgiven me for blowing up two of their (old, crappy, faulty-but-not-diagnosed-until-they-failed) PA amps in one night...

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076165)

No, don't worry, nobody is going to try it. Nobody is interested in theater fag stuff except you and ten million gay men in New York City.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

jerde (23294) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076192)

You're lucky. With our lowly 120V supplies here, 2000 Watts is about as much as you can ever expect on a single circuit. (theoretically 2400W on a 20A circuit, but once you're pulling close to 20A, the wires and cords themselves start to draw enough in heating that it adds up)

On the other hand, I have accidentally touched live AC wires a few times (and even stuck my finger in a light socket as a kid) and had relatively minor effects from it. I'd imagine 220/240 has a bit more of a kick... :)

- Peter

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

otuz (85014) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076365)

Not really, I have had some 240V kicks and just got an uncanny buzzing feeling.
Human conductivity is quite low.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

child_of_mercy (168861) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076047)

well here in australia we already use 240V for everything.

and then we have three phase for serious stuff...

Oh and 16amp plugs for real servers...

hmmm well it was a nice idea.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (4, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076049)

Yes, but I still think water cooling [avforums.com] is the way to go, personally.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (2, Informative)

ozbird (127571) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076059)

The amount of heat being generated by chips does not seem to be decreasing at all ...

I disagree. I've just upgraded an Athlon XP 1800+ system to an Athlon64 3500+.
The new box runs around 20 degrees C cooler than the old one at idle and under heavy load; both use the supplied retail AMD heatsinks. I'm not using "Cool 'n Quiet" on the '64; it might take a bit off the idle temperature, but I don't see the point.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076236)

Yup, and exactly the same thing with the previous generation.

A friend has a 1.2Ghz thunderbird Athlon that runs pretty much consistently at 60 degrees, no matter what you do, wheras my Athlon XP1700+ with stock heatsink barely ever crosses 40. We have the same case, and I've never bothered with case fans or hard drive fans...there's just the CPU fan....

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

akadruid (606405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076313)

I can add another apocryphal story - my 1400 Thunderbird used to run at 60-70, while my 2500 Barton runs comfortably sub 40.

So its true, they are getting cooler.

Cooler != less heat produced (2, Informative)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076513)

Just because your CPU runs cooler does not neccesarily mean it generates less heat. To do a proper test, use the heatsink supplied for use with your Athlon 1800+ and pop it on your Athlon64...

It's possible all you've proved is that coolers are getting better quicker than processors are getting hotter...

intended for extreme conditions (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076162)

from the article:

Devices built with the rugged material would not require cooling and other protections that add size, weight and cost to traditional silicon electronics in power systems, jet engines, rockets, wireless transmitters and other equipment exposed to harsh environments.

So you see, besides that it is nearly as hard as diamond and can survive the temperatures of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, they want use it to replace silicon electronics that are used in more stressful environments. Although I suppose that the over-clockers should rejoice.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076184)

How long until your PC puts out enough heat that it would be economical to re-use that heat for [...] winter heating?
I already do.
How long until we need special 240V plugs like electric stoves have for power?
Ever heard of the other side of the Atlantic ocean (marked 'There'll be dragons' on American maps)? Germany uses 220V/240V outlets for everything.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

oojah (113006) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076368)

This isn't exactly answering your post, but don't forget that there are other uses for silicon than processors. Think industrial power switching, high power drives.

Cheers,

Roger

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076377)

All we need is some way to convert heat directly into electricity.... dream on I guess.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (2, Interesting)

dwhitman (105201) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076410)

The amount of heat being generated by chips does not seem to be decreasing at all, and this material appears to be produced to be "heat resistant" instead of more efficient.

Heat resistance isn't the point -- current IC's don't melt, they get trashed via difusion processes that will still be there in SiC.

The advantage of SiC is substantially enhanced (2x) thermal conductivity vs. Si. This makes it easier to get heat out of the chip, allowing it to run cooler at any given heat production rate.

Re:Finally... Heat can be put to good use (1)

ChadN (21033) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076465)

The voltage doesn't matter; it's the wattage. So, you probably won't need more than 120V for future machines, but you may need better wiring so that more amps can be carried to it without blowing a fuse (or lighting your house on fire).

WIndows 2003 out performs every Red Hat Linux conf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075914)

iguration. Seen first here on slashdot, get the FACTS.

Imagine ... (0, Redundant)

valmont (3573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075916)

... a lighter and more rugged beowulf cluster of those.

Re:Imagine ... (0)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076004)

Imagine eating a hamburger cooked on said cluster.

Charcoal? (4, Insightful)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075925)

Think knife-sharpener.

Silicon carbide is really hard stuff.

It's not quite diamond, but with a hardness of 9.25, you could use your SiC processor to grind real axes and not just figurative ones in flamewars.

Re:Charcoal? (1)

frankmu (68782) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076037)

you're right: born from a star [http]

how hot? (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075926)

The article is kind of vague on the details, for instance, just how much hotter are these semiconductors going to be able to run? Is it possible that chips made from these will have to use a non-plastic casing material? If so, that would be very cool. I doubt it though, that'd have to be pretty hot.

Re:how hot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075944)

cool.. hot... make up your mind, make a decision

Re:how hot? (1)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075950)

You know those tiles on the bottom of the Space Shuttle?

Silicon Carbide baby.

Re:how hot? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076013)

Well, that depends. Silicon carbide can take a lot of heat, but you need more than the substrate to have a functioning chip. The limit will probably be whatever the interconnects can stand.

What makes this more interesting from a heat standpoint, is that silicon carbide should do a far better job of conducting heat than today's silicon wafers. IOW, more efficient cooling.

-jcr

Re:how hot? (1)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076077)

What if the chips didn't have physical interconnections? [slashdot.org]

Silicon radio interconnects could let these chips run very hot.

I think these two things combined will be huge in the next few years.

Re:how hot? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076240)

The interconnects I was referring to are those conductors which attach one device to another within the same chip, ie the power and signal traces. Your link refers to connections from one chip to another.

-jcr

650C or 1202F (1)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076057)

according to them [arstechnica.com] , if the CPU's are trully to ever reach such temperature we'll need some serious termal isolation in our casing, not for the CPUs, for us.

Re:how hot? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076143)

Chips have been using ceramic casings for a long long time. Of course flip-chips (such as Athlons) don't have casings at all.

in soviet russia ... (-1, Offtopic)

valmont (3573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075930)

... crystals grow you in multi-step processes.

In Japan... (5, Funny)

Johnny Fusion (658094) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075937)

The researchers say that currently only a 3" wafer has been produced

Hirohito: Oh! You must have very big wafer!

Owner: Excuse me?! I was just asking you what you're up to with this manufacturing process!

Nothing! We are very simple people with very small wafer! Mr. Hosek's wafer is especially small!

Hosek: He he he! So small!

Hirohito: We cannot achieve much with so small wafer! But, you Americans! Wow! Wafer so big! SO BIG Wafer!

Owner: Well, I-I guess it is a pretty good size

Re:In Japan... (1)

Gnpatton (796694) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075943)

whats that from again? i forget

Re:In Japan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10075954)

South park, the one with chinpokomon

Re:In Japan... (1)

drmaxx (692834) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075976)

This is the famouse Japanese wafer defense (SP, 310 - Chinpokomon), slightly inferior to the Chewbacca defense (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_Defense).

Re:In Japan... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076148)

Is racist humor popular in Japan as well?

Re:In Japan... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076204)

Yes [wikipedia.org] .

typical bad science journalism (4, Insightful)

harlemjoe (304815) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075946)

From the article....
In an advance that could lead to lighter spacecraft and smarter cars, researchers have developed a new technique for producing a high-quality computer chip that is much more resistant to extreme conditions than the silicon found in most of today's electronics.

So a chip more resistant to extreme conditions is also somehow 'lighter' and 'smarter'...

A good step forward for science, but not for science journalism...

Re:typical bad science journalism (5, Informative)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075960)

The chip itself isn't lighter, but the cooling equipment required can be much smaller, making for much lighter and rugged devices that use those chips.

But yeah, that article was pretty light on details.

Lighter, maybe, smarter, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076066)

The "lighter" bit seems plausable, scince
they won't have to use as much shielding to
protect the chip. I don't know how significant
the "savings" in this area would be though....

Re:typical bad science journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076176)

You've misread the article.

These chips are made of carbide. They are carb smart.

Re:typical bad science journalism (1)

blackwing0013 (680833) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076182)

Lighter, as other posters said, you could basically reduce the amount of cooling gear needed. As for smarter, well maybe it means you can probably more computing power in the car. This could actually mean more precise control of the car's internals so that you could get more horsepower or speed, even if it's only a fraction of a percent, just like what most overclockes do with their PCs. Could also mean the car's electronics may be able to operate on more extreme conditions because heat, as we know it has negative effects on a transistor's performance.

anyone up for the ... PROFIT! meme? (-1, Offtopic)

valmont (3573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075949)

post right under here.

Charcoal processors? (3, Funny)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 10 years ago | (#10075961)

Gives new meaning to "burning up your CPU". Better hope the non-techies never open up their machines...

Sandpaper (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076003)

Your cpus will have a new use when obsolete...

Six years away? Super! (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076008)

I'll be able to use these in my flexible paper display ebook with fuel cell technology as I drive to work in my hydrogen powered flying car!

I can't wait!

Re:Six years away? Super! (1)

Grey Tomorrow (722221) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076113)

On the plus side, by that time your car will be able to pilot itself while you play Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Six years away? Super! (1)

Dogers (446369) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076259)

whoa, hey, we're talking SIX not SIXTY years here!

Duke Nukem indeed..

a good idea? (1)

N5 (804512) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076020)

I'm all for being able to OC the hell outa my proc and not be worried about burning it..

BUT

These CPUs would be far more durable and last a lot longer. Why is that a problem? Think about the last time your job/office/place of business replaced computers. You're gonna be stuck with that slow machine a whole lot longer.

Re:a good idea? (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076172)

No you won't. Can you imagine Compaq, Dell or IBM voluntarily producing a PC which never wears out?

Re:a good idea? (2, Insightful)

Y2K is bogus (7647) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076217)

So the major PC makers wouldn't want to make products that never fail and never require spare parts, except due to catastrophe?

Producing spares isn't their primary focus, and every RMA for stupid broken stuff is costly. A laptop that exceeds the 3 year warranty without breaking would be music to their ears, and consumers.

Your logic is flawed. It isn't "wearing out" that makes people buy new computers, it's the fact that it's too slow or old. Most computers end up surplused, just check the HUGE secondary market that feeds many multi-million dollar surplus businesses. There are a handful of long time surplus shops in Silicon valley that have derived a long history from the computing industry around here.

Next step: diamond (2, Interesting)

CityZen (464761) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076021)

If you've got the carbon, why bother with the silicon? Actually, I wonder what they use to "dope" diamond semiconductors?

http://www.eetimes.com/at/hpm/news/OEG20030822S000 5 [eetimes.com]

Re:Next step: diamond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076157)

Diamond?

Don't stick it in your oven.

Hmmmmmm.

How hot does an overclocked diamond CPU get, anyway?

Re:Next step: diamond (1)

Dr. Stavros (808432) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076374)

Actually, I wonder what they use to "dope" diamond semiconductors?
For p-type diamond (i.e. the holes are the carriers), diamond is doped with boron. In fact, it's hard to get/grow diamond without some boron in there, hence most diamond is naturally p-type. Boron in diamond has an activation energy of 0.37 eV, which is low (i.e. good) as far as diamond goes, but pretty poor compared to dopant activation energies about an order of magnitude lower in silicon.

At present, for n-type (i.e. electron) diamond, phosphorus is the best dopant. It has an activation energy of 0.6 eV, hence the story is clearly not as good as it is with p-type doping.

However, my work modelling potential defects in diamond has predicted that a substitutional arsenic defect will have an n-type activation energy of around 0.3 eV, meaning that arsenic could be used to create n-type diamond on a par with boron-doped p-type material.

Re:Next step: diamond (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076531)

That's pretty cool. I wonder how the heat tolerances for diamond will be like, I know it's a damn good thermal conductor.

so fucking what (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076032)

tell me when they have something that impacts me. i mean seriously, some fucktard in a lab growing 3 inches of crystal soesnt mean shit to me. he may as well have grown a 3 inch hard-on (which i bet is the max length anyway)..........

now when i can have a 100GB storage device that fits on my keychain and that i can run over with my car (and it still be in working condition) and that the average person can afford, then ill get excited. till then - NEXT!

Better idea (0)

Xerxes2695 (706503) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076043)

Or, use propane for a cleaner, easier transisting at the push of a button.....

Is that a bag of heat beads... (1)

SalsaDot (772010) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076068)

...or did that new supercomputer finally arrive??

Steve Jobs it coming! (5, Funny)

ArcticCelt (660351) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076112)

Steve Jobs when asked what's next for the iPod: [nwsource.com]

"You know, our next big step is we want it to make toast," Jobs answered. "I want to brown my bagels when I'm listening to my music."

Damn Steve, again, he saw this charcoal technology coming before anybody. :)

It's already here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076274)

Typical of Apple - I think the Powerbook was a prototype.

Steve Jobs & George Forman have a plot to: BAM! Knock Out The Fat! ..of Apple users with their Portable Toasty Titanium Lap Grills. (Or would that be the iGrill?) Smell somethin' cookin? Yep, it's you!

Put two of them back to back and you could easily cook a steak, I tell ya.

What does silicon carbide have to do with a BBQ? (5, Informative)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076116)

Silicon carbide is a very hard, brittle material with a very high melting point commonly used to make crucibles and high speed saw blades and drill bits.

Comparing this to charcol is like saying that Carbon Monoxide is the same thing as Oxygen because CO contains oxygen.

Jason

Re:What does silicon carbide have to do with a BBQ (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076156)

Yeah, it took a while for me to figure it out as well.

All this silly stuff, but (5, Informative)

panurge (573432) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076181)

Silicon carbide and diamond both have significant potential use as power semiconductors. Forget CPUs, think I/O. Think smaller power supplies, smaller audio drivers, more rugged automotive systems, and, ultimately, being able to shrink robotics controllers as a next step to producing very small robots. If a robot's motors are running at 80C, you want the power semis to be able to handle that. Furthermore, a lot of possible fuel cell designs run at fairly high temperature and, again, you want the electronics to survive the environment without too much cooling.

There are also huge potential benefits for rad-hard communications satellites, where cooling is a major problem (radiation only.)

Re:All this silly stuff, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076263)

Power electronics are rated for junction temperature of 150C max already. Chips are rated for 105C or 125C max these days. (Mil run stuff at 105C junction max for high reliability) Where is your number of 80C coming from?

I do not want hotter running power supplies or audio drivers because the rest of the parts in the same box are not good at high temperature. Hot parts produces shot noise and are not good for audio. Hot electrolytic caps are highly unreliable and can dry out a lot faster hence shortening thier life.

Re:All this silly stuff, but (1)

TheRealStaunch (781450) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076420)

Sounds like big dollars (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076224)

Growing the crystals in a multi-step process sounds like a very expensive process. Probably useful for somehot chips though.

So why the hell do we need hot chips anyway? ARM and MIPS devices run cool. Why does x86 have to be hot? Indeed why the hell are we still wedded to these power hungry devices?

Re:Sounds like big dollars (1)

oojah (113006) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076356)

Not all silicon is used in processors.

This is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076325)

A lot of early radio diodes were made out of carborundum (SiC) and charcoal. So I'm pretty sure the idea of SiC semiconductors has been around for the better part of a century. The navy used SiC diodes since the junction didn't break apart easily like with galena (PbS).

What about electrical properties? (4, Interesting)

Hank the Lion (47086) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076339)

It's very nice that SiC can withstand high temperatures and is very hard, but are these the most important features of a semiconductor material?
I would be more interested in band gap voltage, electron/hole mobility etc.
Who needs a chip that can run hot when it cannot run fast?
Maybe for specialized hardened aplications like space, but I don't see these being used for mainstream applications.

The BBC article (3, Informative)

Mixel (723232) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076341)

linky [bbc.co.uk]

U lot (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10076379)

Ha you lot, you think this will be used for CPU's.

It wont. Silicon/Germanium is fastest you can get at teh mo (until they can dope diamond)

SiC will be used in hi-temp areas (eg aircraft engines) or where they want it to run hotter to up the current handling (ie power electronics)

at the mo I am limited to 800A at 1200V for an IGBT and that is 8IGBT die in parallel.the die is limited to 100A at 125C.

When I get SiC IGBT I will be able to pass 800A thorugh a single die and let the die heat up to 300C.

This will mean that expensive heavy heatsinks will be able to shrink

SiC will NOT be use for hi speed CPU!!!

update your calendar (2, Funny)

rozz (766975) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076382)

"The researchers say that currently only a 3" wafer has been produced and that a marketable product is at least six years away."

duplicate /. article incoming ... estimated period of arrival: 6 years later .. please update your calendar for Aug2010

The magic smoke and the charcoal filter (1)

dapyx (665882) | more than 10 years ago | (#10076444)

It is common knowledge that once you let the magic smoke out, electronics never work quite the same as before. Now, with the charcoal filter, we won't know when electronics get broken. :-)
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