In a previous post, I wrote about graphene, with an emphasis on its related patents — specifically which companies and countries held the most. Pulling a quote from that post, I would like to illustrate the bullish feeling Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)‘s Jani Kivioja felt when describing the revolutionary substance:
“When we talk about graphene, we’ve reached a tipping point. We’re now looking at the beginning of a graphene revolution… Before this point in time, we figured out a way to manufacture cheap iron that led to the Industrial Revolution. Then there was silicon. Now it’s time for graphene.”
Nokia has many reasons to be bullish on graphene, especially since they received a large sum from the $1.36 billion grant provided by the European Union that was allocated to further develop and research the material. Graphene is 300 times stronger than steel, harder than diamonds, is the thinnest and lightest material (one atom thick) ever obtained by man, is transparent, and conducts electricity better than copper.
Sounds like a tech company’s dream come true? It does to Nokia, which will most likely apply the technology to a range of different things relating to its handset and telecommunications businesses.
And they are not alone…
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) seems to be pushing the innovation level higher with graphene already. The company recently patented “a one atom-thick graphene transistor that works 1,000 times faster than silicon”. That sounds like a major game-changer if I’ve ever heard one. Imagine how explosive innovation and growth in technology will be if this graphene technology works out for “Big Blue.” Silicon might become obsolete. Regarding commercial enterprises, IBM is in second place in the patent race.
Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) is in first place for patents, and is looking to invest in graphene even further. The company is now funding research to develop a “graphene-based antennae for intra-chip communication in the terahertz band.” The company is handing out a $120,000 grant to help develop coding and “modulation schemes necessary for wireless, internal communication at hundreds of gigabytes per second among the thousands of sub-processors of a multi-core chip.” These speeds that are impossible today may be made possible with the help of graphene.
IBM and Samsung are leading in the race for patents and are already looking for ways to utilize the impressive substance.
Not just for chips, either…
Graphene also has implications for other industries and applications as well. What about batteries? Super capacitors made with graphene apparently have the potential to make the batteries of today look Stone-Aged. UCLA researchers have found a way to create a super capacitor composed of the carbon-based material that can be charged quicker and holds more electricity than the traditional battery– while also being biodegradable and even compostable.
Think of the implications for tablets and smart phones. What about electric vehicles? The whole media drama between Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and the New York Times may seem like a laughably ridiculous and unnecessary occurrence of the past if graphene makes it possible to charge an electric vehicle as quick as it takes to fill-up a tank of gas — while also being able to travel the same distance as a gas-powered car as well.