Hewlett Packard claims nano-chip breakthrough

Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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San Francisco: Hewlett-Packard (HP) has invented a revolutionary computer chip that uses nanotechnology to achieve a significant performance boost.

Researchers at the world's largest computer maker Tuesday said the new approach can allow an eightfold increase in the number of transistors that can be squeezed onto a variety of programmable chips, while bringing savings in energy consumption.

The new technology works by using a grid of nanowires to connect conventional integrated circuits chips known as FPGAs, or field programmable gate arrays, the Silicon Valley company said in a statement.

Not only does the new technology promise to increase speed, but according to HP it should also be possible to manufacture the new chips in existing factories - a key advantage over current improvements which rely on reducing the size of transistors and which need new fabrication facilities for each new chip generation.

"That is (saving) five to 10 years (of) work at a stroke," James Ellenbogen, the senior principal scientist of the nanosystems group at Mitre Corporation told the Wall Street Journal.

He characterized HP's results as "amazing" and said it had the potential to extend indefinitely the reach of Moore's Law which posits that the power of microchips will double every 18 months.

Hewlett-Packard said it expects to have a laboratory prototype of the chip completed "within the year".
Source: IANS
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