Diamond chips to make meaner, greener electronics

An interesting evolution in the world of science, I reckon. Using diamond instead of graphite means more solid and greener hardware, but possibly also more expensive hardware? Mass-production could lower the costs, I guess ...

The economics of the electronics industry depends on its ability to carve thousands of microchips simultaneously from silicon wafers the size of dinner plates. A new generation of greener, more powerful electronics could be born if we could make those wafers from a material that is far superior, and incomparably more glamorous: diamond. Now it looks like we might be able to. Pure diamond is a super-tough electrical insulator, but given the right impurities it becomes a semiconductor. Crucially, it is also the best thermal conductor on Earth. Those properties means synthetic diamond could be used to make microchips that handle high-power signals but do not require power-hungry cooling systems.

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