What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
Codebreaker

Sans silicon

Marc Sanchez Dec 6, 2011


Scientists in Switzerland have come up with the first “promising” alternative to a silicon based microchip. It’s based on a mineral called molybdenite. The chip, which is still in the development stages, could be a step forward, because it can be set out in sheets that are thinner and more flexible than silicon. It also uses less energy, which is a big deal for chips coming into the hand-held market. Yup, people like their chips fast and long-lasting. Professor Andras Kis, who helped develop the chip, praised its flexibility, as he told the BBC, ““If you take a sheet of molybdenite you can stretch it so that it increases its length by 10% – that is a lot in this context. If you did the same with silicon it would break like glass.
As with most technological works-in-progress molybdenite isn’t expected to hit the streets for another 10 to 20 years. So, promises of a flexible phone that conforms to your face are still a ways off.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.