Lately, I've been reading a lot about how Intel, IBM and now AMD have all confirmed that their processors will be made of hafnium within the next year. Intel will begin doing so late in the third quarter of this year, and AMD expects to be doing so by mid 2008.
Evidently, hafnium allows them to produce processors with less electrical "leakage", meaning faster CPU's with more circuits in them, and less overheating. Intel expects to bring a 4 GHz hafnium cpu to market later this year, and is currently producting test batches of them.
So, it is no longer a guess as to whether they will switch over from silicon - it is a done deal. Demand for hafnium should increase greatly over the next 18 months, as manufacturers such as Intel, IBM, AMD and others start switching their fabrication lines over to take advantage of the new material.
Hafnium comes from zirconium ore. Zirconium ore is composed of about 50 parts zirconium to 1 part hafnium.
Anyway, I found myself wondering if it might be prudent to invest in a zirconium mine or hafnium extraction company now, in order to benefit from the increased demand (and thus, higher price for) for hafnium over the next couple of years.
The only publicly traded company I can find that deals with this is ATI, (that's the stock ticker - I'm not talking about the video card company) but it is a HUGE company, and the hafnium production is only a small part of its businesses. If I could find something that is more focused on zirconium mining or hafnium processing, I think it would be safe to expect a 30% return over the next two years.
Can anyone recommend a smaller company with more of a focus on either zirconium ore or hafnium processing? Thanks!