Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE OBSERVERS

The controversial colonial statue in Senegal; and the centuries-old town in Turkey being destroyed by the govt

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

End of an era: Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'We aren't ready' for a second vote in Kenya and flip-flopping on climate change

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Another Hurricane? It's Maria's turn. And, when's your printer going to stop working?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo: New report says army worked with militias to massacre hundreds in Beni

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

All eyes on Trump and Macron at UN General Assembly

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump goes to the UN: What role for the United States on the world stage?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

German elections: Top MEP 'concerned' as populists rise in polls

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Four more years for Angela Merkel?

Read more

SCIENCE

IBM looking at DNA for new generation of microchips

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-18

IBM and Caltech have developed a method using "DNA origami" — folding DNA to make nanoscale two- or three-dimensional shapes — to design a more powerful generation of ultra-tiny microchips.

AFP - IBM on Monday said it was looking to DNA "origami" for a powerful new generation of ultra-tiny microchips.
   
The US computer giant collaborated with California Institute of Technology researchers to develop a way to design microchips that mimic how chains of DNA molecules fold, allowing for processors far smaller and denser than any seen today.
   
"This is a way to assemble an electronics device of the future," said Bill Hinsberg, manager of the lithography group at IBM's Almaden Research Center in California.
   
"It offers a potential way to construct nano-scale devices. The industry has always gone in the direction of making things smaller, because that opens the realm of possibilities."
   
A tenet of the chip industry is Moore's Law, a history-backed belief that the number of transistors that can be placed on a computer circuit doubles every two years, enabling smaller but increasingly powerful computing devices.
   
Lithography is a common method of making computer chips that have shrunk to contain technology measuring a mere 22 nanometers. The "DNA origami" method can allow for chip features as slight as 6 nanometers, according to IBM.
   
"At some point, it gets more difficult to get smaller," Barnett said. "We've pursued DNA origami as a way to assemble an electronic device of the future."
   
DNA origami chips would have vastly increased data storage capacity and lead to power smaller, faster, smarter devices, IBM said.
   
"It took a couple of years, but once you figure out how to do it, it's easy," said lead IBM researcher Greg Wallraff.
   
The DNA method is to assemble chips "from the molecule up" in a way that costs less than today's manufacturing methods, the technology titan said.
   
IBM expects it will take about a decade before DNA origami technology reaches the marketplace.
   
"You'd have to develop whole new ways of fabricating the chips," Wallraff said. "You have to really change the way you do things."

Date created : 2009-08-18

COMMENT(S)