Researchers from IBM, along with scientists from California Institute of Technology, are attempting to build the next generation of smaller and more powerful chips by using the combination of DNA and nanotechnology.
IBM researchers are trying to explore newer techniques to develop artificial DNA nanostructures to offer frameworks on which tiny electronic circuits can be fabricated.
Along the same line, the researchers have made a crucial breakthrough in their efforts to merge DNA strands with erstwhile lithographic techniques to develop tiny circuit boards.
The new technological breakthrough is paving the way for the DNA structures to be positioned accurately on substrates, and could help shrivel the computer chips to 6-nanometer scale. Incidentally, Intel’s latest chips are available on a 32-nanometer scale.
Robert Allen, a senior manager of materials and chemistry at IBM, said in a statement, “The idea is to combine leading edge lithography that can offer feature size of 25 nanometers with some chemical magic to access much smaller dimensions. This allows us to place nano objects with 6-nanometer resolution. You don’t have a hope of doing that with lithography today”.
IBM further claimed that the new research could help processor manufacturers keep align with Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors on a chip will double after every two years.
Before anyone says it, yes, it sound creepy. Mixing DNA and Silicon is not a new idea but the idea of having it mass produced within the next decade and equip the computers of 2020 can only make some of us a tad anxious. 6nm is 5 times smaller than the manufacturing process used by today's microprocessors. This could eventually mean, computers a thousand times more powerful than today's powerhouses.