Replacing glass with vacuums speeds up chips


Computer chip designers are continually trying to pack more transistors into a smaller area, so adding empty space would seem like a bad idea. Yet IBM has shown that by replacing the glass used to insulate the wires with vacuum-filled tunnels, they can make chips speedier and more power-efficient. A vacuum insulates better than glass and so can reduce current leakage. An IBM team led by Dan Edelstein coated the glass-covered wires with a second layer of glass, followed by a polymer which, when heated,
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