Researchers at Intel and Qinetiq have unveiled next-generation 'quantum well' transistors designed to form the basis of high performance processors in the next decade.
The companies found that the transistors used up 10 times less power for the same performance, or a threefold improvement in transistor performance for the same power consumption, as compared to traditional transistors.
Researchers built the transistors by integrating a new transistor material, pioneered by Qinetiq, called indium antimonide (InSb).
InSb comprises elements found in the III and V columns of the periodic table. Transistors made of this material have been shown in tests to operate at very low voltages, while still rapidly switching and consuming little power, the companies said.
"The experimental results of our joint research with Qinetiq demonstrate that InSb is a promising material for potential integration in future transistors," said Ken David, director of components research at Intel's technology and manufacturing group.
"InSb is one example of several new materials that Intel will continue to investigate in order to ensure that Moore's Law extends well beyond the next decade."
The transistor technology was first developed as part of a UK Ministry of Defence project, explained Tim Phillips, business manager of the fast transistors group at Qinetiq.
"Although this research is still in the initial phase it still shows huge promise for advanced applications," he said.
A research paper on the technology can be found here.
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