Harvard University researchers, in collaboration with MITRE Corp., are developing ultra-small electronic computer systems that push beyond the imminent end of Moore's Law. The researchers say they designed and assembled a functioning, extremely tiny control computer that is the densest nanoelectronic system ever built.
The nanoelectronic finite-state machine (nanoFSM), which is smaller than a human nerve cell, consists of hundreds of nanowire transistors, each of which is a switch about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. The nanowire transistors use very little power because they are nonvolatile, meaning the switches remember whether they are on or off, even when no power is supplied to them.
"The nanoFSM and the new methods that were invented to build it are not the whole answer for the industry," says MITRE researcher James Ellenbogen. "However, I believe that they do incorporate important steps forward in two of the key areas the electronics industry has been focused upon in order to extend Moore's Law."
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