While it is not yet time to get in line for a terahertz chip powered computer, it is time to recognize that the possibility isn’t as far off as may have been previously assumed. Why? DARPA and Northrop Grumman Corporation have developed the first terahertz amplifier, the Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC). To put this feat into perspective, the difference between what was the norm and the TMIC can be compared to a bottle rocket and a space shuttle. Surely this can’t be true … and yet it is. The former record of 850 gigahertz was shattered with the TMIC’s one trillion cycles per second. The faster turnover should be able to astronomically improve technologies such as security imaging systems, radar, and communications. DARPA’s program manager Dev Palmer describer “terahertz circuits promise to open up new areas of research and unforeseen applications in the sub-millimeter-wave spectrum, in addition to bringing unprecedented performance to circuits operating at more conventional frequencies.” The development team still has more work to do before this new cycle-turnover rate becomes commonplace but we’re confident that we aren’t the only techies eagerly awaiting to see what changes this will ultimately bring to the world.

Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC)

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