The scientists stress that you’d still need silicon, but the combination of these new materials with silicon could still lead to far more complex processors, much longer battery life, and other advantages that usually come with shrinking transistor sizes. Moore’s Law can’t last forever (the laws of physics won’t allow it), but this could delay the inevitable for many years.
As with many semiconductor breakthroughs, the biggest challenge is simply getting this to market. The Stanford team needs to improve the contact between transistors and these circuits, not to mention improve the reliability of the insulation itself. And of course, there’s the not-so-small matter of putting these semiconductors into a full-size, production-worthy chip. It could take years before this work makes a difference, and by that point the chip industry might already be struggling. If it doesn’t take too long, though, this might give the computing industry a much-needed lifeline.