What Makes a Good Computer Device?

Science  11 Oct 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4722, pp. 138-144
DOI: 10.1126/science.230.4722.138


Numerous development projects aimed at replacing the silicon technology that dominates computer logic with a faster alternative have been conducted throughout the past 25 years. None has succeeded. The alternatives are usually based on a device that switches very rapidly, and they neglect many other requirements of computer logic. In this article the essential physical factors that account for the success of transistors in digital applications are identified, as are the factors that are absent in proposed alternative devices.