Future Computers May Become Nano Scale with Wires 10,000 Times Thinner than a Human Hair


A team of scientists have designed an 'ultra-thin' wire which will play a pivotal role in the development of future computing devices and smaller but powerful electronic devices. According to the journal Science, this wire is an atom tall and four atoms wide and 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. But amazingly, this tiny wire, which is made out of phosphorus atoms in silicon, has the same electrical power as copper and can carry a charge as efficiently as conventional wires.

This can be considered as a 'breakthrough' to quantum computing, an industry still in its infancy. Quantum computer is a device for computation that makes direct use of quantum mechanical phenomena to perform operations on data. This nano-thin wire is being expected to advance 'quantum computing' into practical scale with smaller but powerful computing process of transferring date faster than current digital computers which uses bits either 1 or 0. And its usage can advance into fast database searches, economic modelling, weather forecasting, airline scheduling and code breaking.

Driven by the semiconductor industry, computer chip components continuously shrink in size allowing ever smaller and more powerful computers, said researcher Michelle Simmons of the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia.

We are on the threshold of making transistors out of individual atoms. But to build a practical quantum computer we have recognized that the interconnecting wiring and circuitry also needs to shrink to the atomic scale.

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