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April 20, 2008

Moore’s Law which says computing power will double every two years appears to be holding just yet.

Scientists Build World’s Smallest Transistor…

British researchers have unveiled the world’s smallest transistor, which measures one atom thick and ten atoms across.

The newly announced transistor is more than three times smaller than the 32 nanometer transistors at the cutting edge of silicon-based electronics.

“It’s molecular electronics with the standard top-down approach which can be used in any semiconductor factory,” said Kostya Novoselov, a researcher at the University of Manchester and a co-author of a new paper on the transistor in the journal Science.

Transistors form the logic gates that underpin computing. Finding new ways to make them smaller is key to the continuation of Moore’s Law, which holds that the number of transistors on a chip will double every two years. That doubling translates into performance gains for computers. While expected improvements to processes and materials, namely silicon, seem likely to keep the law going for the next ten years, even Gordon Moore questions technology’s ability to keep pace after that.

This new transistor may extend Moore’s Law for a while longer.

The transistor is made out of graphene, a new material exactly one-atom thick that was discovered by Novoselov’ s research team in 2004.

Imagine a computer as huge as a 300-story building with a floor area of four football fields.

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