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New Technology May Lead to Prolonged Power in Mobile Devices

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Jiyoung Kim and Kyeongjae Cho examine a wafer used to make transistors.

Jiyoung Kim (left) and Kyeongjae Cho created new technology that could reduce energy consumption in mobile devices and computers.

Credit: University of Texas at Dallas

University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) researchers have developed technology that could lead to wearable computers with self-contained power sources. The technology accesses the power of a single electron to control energy consumption inside transistors.

The researchers found that by adding a thin layer of chromium oxide film onto a transistor, the layer acted as a filter for the energy that passed through it at room temperature. The device produced a signal that was up to seven times steeper than that of traditional devices.

The researchers say the filter is one way to reduce the thermal noise in transistors. "Having to cool the thermal spread in modern transistors limits how small consumer electronics can be made," says UT Dallas professor Kyeongjae Cho. "We devised a technique to cool the electrons internally--allowing reduction in operating voltage--so that we can create even smaller, more power-efficient devices."

The researchers also created a vertical-layering system, which they note will be more practical as devices get smaller. "One way to shrink the size of the device is by making it vertical, so the current flows from top to bottom instead of the traditional left to right," says UT Dallas professor Jiyoung Kim.

From UT Dallas News
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