Carbon nanotubes may be the key to enabling smaller transistors, and engineers at IBM hope to have nanotube technology ready for commercialization soon after 2020. The focus on nanotubes reflects the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to shrink silicon transistors. It is expected that in about six years, transistors will need to have features as small as 5 nanometers to keep up with the continuous miniaturization of computer chips. "That's where silicon scaling runs out of steam, and there really is nothing else," said Wilfried Haensch, head of IBM's nanotube project at the company's T.J. Watson research center. Haensch, who was quoted by MIT Technology Review, said nanotubes are the only approach that appears to offer a practical way to make both smaller and faster transistors. For more, see this article.