By Priya Ganapati April 22, 2009 | 10:00:00 AMFrustrated with how long it takes for your computer to boot up? That could change, say researchers who have made a breakthrough that could take the PC industry closer to truly instant-on capability for computer systems.
Scientists have found a way to add ferroelectric capability to silicon, which pushes the idea of building a completely ferroelectric transistor closer to reality.
Ferroelectric materials provide low-power, high-efficiency electronic memory and are already used in smart cards for subways and ATMs, among other things. Integrating ferroelectrics with silicon-based circuits like those in modern electronics would enable instant-on capability, and it could also provide higher speed and lower power consumption overall, making the ferroelectric circuits an attractive alternative to flash and other memory technologies. But integrating the two materials in a transistor has eluded researchers for more than half a century. Contined @ WIRED