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The transistor isn't shrinking the way it used to. The best ones we have today are a patchwork of fixes and kludges: speed-boosting materials that push or pull on the silicon center, exotic insulators added to stanch leaks, and a new geometry that pops things out of the plane of the chip and into the third dimension. Now, to keep Moore's Law going, chipmakers are eyeing another monumental change in transistor architecture. This time, they're taking aim at the current-carrying channels at the very heart of the device, replacing the silicon there with germanium and compound semiconductors known as III-Vs. If all goes well, these materials could usher in a new generation of speedier, less power-hungry transistors, allowing for denser, faster, cooler-running chips.