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D. Paving The Way For Cheaper & Faster Electronics

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have essentially set the stage for the future of semiconductor technology by developing the tiniest transistor yet. Chenming Hu, a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, says their breakthrough has been to change the design of the transistor switch, which controls the flow of current in electronic devices.

Hu: What we have done is to show that the switch can be made much smaller than commonly thought possible. The size of the switch in the transistor that we fabricated is less than one part in ten thousandths of a human hair.

Narrator: By making components smaller, electronics become cheaper and faster.

Hu: It's cheaper because it's simply cheaper to make a larger number of chips on a given piece of silicon wafer. So the smaller we can make the transistors, the smaller we can make the chips, than the chips will be cheaper.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.