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Is it plausible or even conceivable that some material would offer superior properties for usage in semiconductors or microprocessors?

Could silicon chips ever be replaced by chips made by other material?

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  • $\begingroup$ Scientists are working at it. They hope they can work something out, but ultimately they didn't, yet. If huge amount of $ and many laboratories are yet to find answer, I don't think we can give definitive answer here. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Oct 19 '17 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ Answer: Yes, it is plausible. If you want to challenge that you need to find any reason for why it is impossible to replace silicon. And unless you can see into the future, you cannot find any such reasons. You cannot prove a negative, especially not if it is something that regards future development. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Oct 19 '17 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ There has been research on carbon based chips for a while now. So it's plausible for even a near-future setting. $\endgroup$ – Faerindel Oct 19 '17 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! You have the basis of an interesting question here, but it seems to be more of a question about current and past research in this world rather than trying to build a world (even a futuristic one). It is possible that others disagree, but I feel this crosses the line of off-topic here as it is currently written as a result as this is not a site about learning about current research. I would say it would be more on topic if you asked us about what you're trying to achieve rather than "is this bit of research possible" $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Oct 19 '17 at 13:08
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Like people said in comments, is really hard to know what material is going to break the limits of current tecnology. But there is one material is proven that have the right properties to (hopefully) replace silicon chips and integrated circuits: Graphene

You can get some info in the following link: Graphene on Wikipedia

Some of the properties:

  • Very High conductivity
  • Strongest material ever discovered (but 5 times lighter than Carbon fiber)
  • Very thin

IBM created some prototypes of Graphene CPU's and they reached speeds up to 300Ghz (Link)

If you are interested on the future of the computing tecnologies, then check Quantum computing too.

Hope this helps.

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