In the last quarter of a century silicon-based integrated circuits (ICs) have played a major role in the growth of the economy throughout the world. A number of new technologies, such as quantum computing,
molecular computing, DNA molecules for computing, etc., are currently being explored to create a product to replace semiconductor transistor technology. We have examined all of the currently explored options
and found that none of these options are suitable as silicon IC's replacements. In this paper we provide fundamental device criteria that must be satisfied for the successful operation of a manufacturable,
not yet invented, device. The two fundamental limits are the removal of heat and reliability. The switching speed of any practical man-made computing device will be in the range of 10-15 to 10-3
s. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the computer architecture set the heat generation limit. The thermal conductivity of the materials used in the fabrication of a nanodimensional device sets the
heat removal limit. In current electronic products, redundancy plays a significant part in improving the reliability of parts with macroscopic defects. In the future, microscopic and even nanoscopic defects
will play a critical role in the reliability of disruptive nanoelectronics. The lattice vibrations will set the intrinsic reliability of future computing systems. The two critical limits discussed in this
paper provide criteria for the selection of materials used in the fabrication of future devices. Our work shows that diamond contains the clue to providing computing devices that will surpass the performance
of silicon-based nanoelectronics.
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Document Type: Research Article
Center for Silicon Nanoelectronics and Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0915, USA
Department of Physics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA
Publication date: 2002-07-01
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Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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