Tuesday, January 16, 2007

HP Makes Nanotechnology Semiconductor Advances

Moore's Law may be saved, and indeed accelerated, due to a discovery may by quantum researchers at HP Labs. And best of all, the new advances could be in use in chips within as little as a year.

The advances involve using nanowires to shrink the density of the chip without shrinking the transistor. The process will allow more transistors to fit into the same chip, while simultaneously reducing the amount of power used--and, thus, the amount of heat generated.

"We essentially provided a recipe to improve the circuitry of FPGA's by the equivalent of three generations of Moore's law without having to shrink the transistor," said Stan Williams, a senior fellow and director of quantum science research at HP Labs.

In my view, this marks one of the first real advances for nanotechnology. Chemical coatings notwithstanding, nanotechnology has so far produced few commercial breakthroughs, with most projects still decades away from commercialization.

But HP's results can provide real results in the short-term. Using their new methods, computing power can be increased significantly while actually reducing the heat and power problems.

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