[ExI] Two Paths to Further Shrink Computer Chips

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Tue Aug 31 16:23:30 UTC 2010

Two different independent announcements were made in the front page of the New York Times today that is likely to cause Moore's law to continue for a long time.


The first concerns researchers at Rice University and a startup company called PrivaTran, they have made elements on computer chips as small as 5 nanometers, the most advanced chips on the market today use 32 nanometer technology; importantly the process involves silicon oxide, a substance well understood by chip makers and used extensively, which should make commercialization much easier.

The other development is even more important as it involves memristors, the last of the 4 basic electrical devices that joins resistors, capacitors and inductors discovered more than 150 years ago. Hewlett Packard announced that they intend to produce memristors commercially in the near future. The article doesn't mention it but among their many virtues memristors would make it much much easier to build a computer that works by Hebbian learning, a process that has been observed to work with neurons in the human brain.

  John K Clark

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