IBM claims to have created the world's fastest silicon-based transistor, which operates at a speed of 350 gigahertz.
The transistor uses Big Blue's silicon germanium (SiGe) bipolar technology, which combines the two elements in order to speed the flow of electrons.
The company said that the device runs nearly 300 per cent faster than existing production chips, and that a fingernail-sized microchip can hold millions of transistors.
IBM indicated that the new transistors could be used in commercial products at speeds of 150 gigahertz in two years. The transistor is also expected to cut costs for communications systems and other electronic products.
Bernard Meyerson, chief technologist at the IBM Technology Group, said: "SiGe is imperative for true system-on-chip designs that pull together standard logic circuitry and higher-speed wireless communications circuitry."
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