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Multifunctional Smart Sensors and High-Power Devices on a Computer Chip

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Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) have developed a process for integrating gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon to create a hybrid computer chip. The breakthrough would allow GaN sensors and devices to be directly integrated into silicon-based computer chips for the first time.

The semiconductor material can handle more power than conventional transistors, and can do so faster because it can be made into single crystals that are integrated into a silicon chip. "This enables the development of high-power—high-voltage and high-current—devices that are critical for the development of energy distribution devices, such as smart grid technology and high-frequency military communications," says NCSU professor Jay Narayan.

The research could lead to the development of multifunctional smart sensors, high-electron mobility transistors, high-power devices, and high-voltage switches for smart grids that impact energy use and the environment. The breakthrough also could lead to a broader range of radio frequencies, and result in the development of advanced communications technologies.

From North Carolina State University
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