New Process May Lead to Better CPUs

Researchers in London have been working on a method of developing computer chips with UV light instead of the ultra-high temperatures used today. The team for University College London has found that the heating process necessary to complete the manufacturing of computer chips can be accomplished with a special UV light that operates at room temperature and uses a fraction of the energy.

The new process isnit ready for industrial use yet, and hasnit even been tested in the clean-room conditions required to make computer processors. Right now, the chips the UV process creates have far too many defects for commercial use.

Once perfected, however, it could lead to faster, cheaper and cleaner chip manufacturing plants. Overcoming the intense heat requirements to cure modern chips also means that processors could be even smaller and contain more transistors - the electronic gates that allow CPUs to process instructions.

Professor Ian Boyd of UCL, part of the discovery team, told BBC News "This finding means that the industryis energy, and subsequent cost savings, could reduce the prices of electronic devices for consumers and, of course, create a positive environmental impact."