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E. Designing Transistors of the Future

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed the tiniest semiconductor transistor yet, paving the way towards faster and cheaper electronic devices. But Chemning Hu, one of its creators, says the current state of the semi-conductor industry is still alive and well.

Hu: We actually think it will be at least ten years for this transistor to find its way into consumer or any real applications. The fact is that the present technology will continue to have several generations of life left in it.

Narrator: Hu says another reason their new transistor will not be implemented right away is that the semiconductor industry believes in incrementalism.

Hu: If you want to make a billion transistors on the chip to work, everyone to work, you'd better choose a technology that you know very well - not something that you just discovered last year. Because of this incrementalism, the semi-conductor industry is going to take a very, very cautious approach to adopt any new transistor designs.

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