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JANUARY 2023 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 23 • Signal and Power Integrity – Simplified, by Eric Bogatin, Jan. 2019. Barry Olney is managing director of In-Circuit Design Pty Ltd (iCD), Australia, a PCB design service bureau that specializes in board-level simulation. The company developed the iCD Design Integrity software incorporating the iCDStackup, PDN, and CPW Planner. The software can be downloaded at To read past columns, click here. A pressing quest in the field of nanoelectronics is the search for a material that could replace silicon. Graphene has seemed promising for decades. But its potential faltered along the way, due to damag- ing processing methods and the lack of a new elec- tronics paradigm to embrace it. With silicon nearly maxed out in its ability to accommodate faster com- puting, the next big nanoelectronics platform is needed now more than ever. Walter de Heer, Regents' Professor in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has taken a critical step forward in making the case for a successor to silicon. De Heer and his col- laborators developed a new nanoelectronics plat- form based on graphene—a single sheet of carbon atoms. The technology is compatible with conven- tional microelectronics manufacturing, a necessity for any viable alternative to silicon. Their discovery could lead to manufactur- ing smaller, faster, more efficient, and more sustain- able computer chips, and has potential implications for quantum and high-per- formance computing. To create the new nano- electronics platform, the researchers created a modified form of epigra- phene on a silicon carbide crystal substrate. In collab- oration with researchers at the Tianjin International Center for Nanoparticles and Nanosystems at the University of Tianjin, China, they produced unique silicon carbide chips from electronics-grade silicon carbide crystals. The graphene itself was grown at de Heer's laboratory at Georgia Tech using pat- ented furnaces. This process mechanically stabilizes and seals the graphene's edges, which would otherwise react with oxygen and other gases that might inter- fere with the motion of the charges along the edge. It will likely be another five to 10 years before we have the first graphene-based electronics, according to de Heer. But thanks to the team's new epitaxial graphene platform, technology is closer than ever to crowning graphene as a successor to silicon. At the Edge of Graphene-Based Electronics • Bit error rate is calculated as the number of bit errors per unit of time. DESIGN007 Resources • "Beyond Design: How to Handle the Dreaded Danglers, Part 2," by Barry Olney, PCBDesign007 Magazine, Sept. 2016. • "Fly-over Technology – When It All Gets Too Fast," by Barry Olney, PCBDesign007 Magazine, Aug. 2021. • "Eye diagram basics: Reading and applying eye diagrams," by Deepbak Behera, et al.,, Dec. 16, 2011. • "What Is a High-Speed Eye Diagram?" by Texas Instruments Precision Labs,, 2019. (Source: Georgia Tech, photo credit: Jess Hunt-Ralston, Georgia Tech)

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