Hermann Detz, TU Vienna

Researchers have built a microchip that is just three atoms thick using a graphite-like compound that could succeed silicon in future microprocessors.

  • Why this matters: Silicon-based chips revolutionized computing, but scientists are racing to find new materials that allow data to move faster and more efficiently than silicon in order to meet today's — and tomorrow's — massive data processing needs. The new chip could be used for wearable technology and the Internet of Things, both of which require thin, lightweight and flexible devices.
  • What's next: The molybdenum disulfide-based processor used 115 transistors to execute programs and communicated with devices attached to it, which are prerequisites for something to scale into a consumer device outside a laboratory setting. The researchers are now working on larger circuits in hopes of getting to the hundreds of millions of transistors needed for practical applications.
  • Sound smart: It's mah-lib-dee-num.

Go deeper

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

43 mins ago - World

Beijing draws Chinese companies even closer

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping announced last week that the party must strengthen its leadership over private companies, and that entrepreneurs must meet the party's needs. 

Why it matters: Xi's new announcement will increase fears that Chinese businesses may serve as a Trojan horse for the CCP.

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