After so many years of constant hassle, PC overheating could come to an end. Even though silicon is currently the de facto norm for computers, recent research from MIT, the University of Houston, and other institutions suggest that it may be time for a shift.
Cubic boron arsenide is a chemical made from the combination of boron and arsenic. It has the potential to be a better semiconductor by avoiding some of the heat sensitivity issues that silicon has.
In fact, behind diamond and isotopically enriched cubic boron nitride, cubic boron arsenide has the “third-best thermal conductivity of any material”. At least according to a study published in Science.
A future without PC overheating?
We all hope PC overheating could come to an end. However, the research stated that more research will be required. There are a number of things yet to be determined. Like whether cubic boron arsenide can be “produced in a practical, inexpensive form, much less replace the omnipresent silicon,”.
The material, however, might discover “certain uses where its unique features would make a substantial impact”.
Nevertheless, the investigation demonstrated the compound’s enormous potential. Evidently, cubic boron arsenide is far more tolerant to “holes”. These are positively charged versions of electrons.
Cubic boron’s reduced heat sensitivity could possibly make a significant difference.
A fundamental bottleneck for many circuits nowadays is heating, according to co-author and MIT postdoc Jungwoo Shin. Since silicon carbide has three times greater thermal conductivity than silicon despite having lower electrical mobilities, it is replacing silicon for power electronics in significant EV sectors, like Tesla “.
“Imagine what boron arsenides, which have ten times more heat conductivity and a great deal more mobility than silicon, can accomplish. It might completely alter the situation.
Not merely cubic boron arsenide poses a long-term challenge to silicon’s dominance.
University of Illinois researchers created 4-bit and 8-bit processors made completely of plastic, with an apparent success rate of 81 percent, at least for the 4-bit ones.
It’s crucial to remember that silicon never really enjoyed a monopoly in the semiconductor industry.
As an alternative to silicon, gallium arsenide, which is made of gallium and arsenic, is frequently used in lasers.