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Single-Atom Transistor

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the holy-grail-batman! dept.

Technology 95

zarsky99 writes: "EETimes is reporting that Japanese researchers are close to creating the world's first single-atom transistor. This could be a boon to power problems and Moore's Law. The article is here, and please enjoy. Now if they could only get a single girl to date me." OK, you take the transistor, I'll take the girl ;) J adds: For those of you graphing Moore's Wacky Law: November1999, 50nm; November1999, 18nm; October2000, 1nm; December2000, 30nm; five days ago, 30nm. We don't make the semiconductors, we just report 'em.

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Single electron, not single atom (4)

CrazyMadPsychoBandit (135946) | more than 13 years ago | (#375149)

The transistor itself contains several atoms, although it's still MUCH smaller than today's devices. A one-electron difference in charge on the transistor's gate is all that's needed to switch it on/off.

What atom would that be? (5)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#375150)

Okay, it's been quite a long time since I took high school chemistry, so maybe something radical changed in the field since then. But I distinctly recall only about 200 to 250 possible elements. Which isotype of which element does this single atom belong to?

Oh hell! This can't possibly be right. Not even Japan can alter the laws of physics. Let me read the article to see what the truth of the matter is... ...yes, Slashdot goofed again (does this surprise anyone). They read the eeTimes' equally innacurate headline and never bothered to read the article. Quoting the real information, we find that:

The transistor Aono is developing makes a switch circuit consisting of ... a 10-atom-diameter cluster of 500 silver atoms that acts as a capacitor...

and

"We can make an atomic switch in a cluster of silver atoms"

Very amazing. But it's not a "Single-Atom Transistor" like Slashdot says. The key component in the transistor may be a single atom, but the transistor itself is not.

An interesting post, but (3)

Tsar cr0bar (310803) | more than 13 years ago | (#375151)

what the heck is with the remark about single girls at the end? Is that a joke? I don't see the contextual relevance... The poor /. posters are so sexually frustrated and neurotic that it's spilling over into news posts about atom-sized transistors! Now if only I could get that girl's phone number. . . .

Re:single atom AND / OR gates (1)

bdoliver (221092) | more than 13 years ago | (#375152)

Actually depending on your library a single gate is about 6 transistors. If your really good you can squeek out a NAND gate in 4...

Re:It won't do any good (1)

Cuthalion (65550) | more than 13 years ago | (#375153)

Small transistors -> on-dye RAM -> really fast

nope (1)

nycdewd (160297) | more than 13 years ago | (#375154)

fyi 'boone's farm' was sickening sweet wine that i used ta boost from the 7-Eleven when i was 15 (*circa* 1970)

isn't it (1)

bigboi (156897) | more than 13 years ago | (#375155)

isn't it terrible flavored beer...something about a farm...boone's farm?

Re:Massive acceleration of Moore's Law (2)

dstone (191334) | more than 13 years ago | (#375156)

So where will we be next Monday?

Still without dates, most of us.

Re:Consequences of Moore's Law (1)

dstone (191334) | more than 13 years ago | (#375157)

does this mean that in 18 months we'll have scientists promising half-atom transistors?

If we can get a single atom acting like 1 transistor, perhaps the next step is to get a single atom acting like 2 transistors in some configuration. Then I think we could say we have half-atom transistors.

Re:non-sequitor (1)

mr bushley (324084) | more than 13 years ago | (#375158)

And when people realize that perhaps faster RAM instead of higher clock speed makes MS word run faster, you think that they will turn down the opportunity for more speed?

There's more to it than just speed. (1)

Dean Edmonds (189342) | more than 13 years ago | (#375159)

we need to take the emphasis off of multi-gigahertz processing, and take a step back to develop other components to the same technological advancement

As others have pointed out, this is basic research which can be applied to all kinds of circuitry, not just CPUs.

However, even applied to CPU development, decreasing feature size means more than just faster processors. It also means that you can create a processor of similar speed to what we have today, but with lower power consumption and better chip yields.

-deane
Gooroos Software: plugging you in to Maya

Re:It won't do any good (1)

Crotchmaster69 (249731) | more than 13 years ago | (#375160)

But they *are* working on all that good luvin'. To increase parallelism, the folks working on Alpha and Intel's Foster are doing SMT. Intel's working on Infiniband to increase bus speeds, while AMD's got LDT which will either replace or aid the Infiniband thing (depending on who you ask). DDR's basically here, and with luck we'll see a QDR standard soon (Quad Data Rate - like Double, but Quad ).

The thing is, each of the groups needs to keep on working, and getting a single-atom transistor in the lab is a far cry from getting one in your grandma's new computer from CompUSA. You've gotta lay the research groundwork, then maybe get some standards, and only then start worrying about actually producing something to sell. All of the things in the first paragraph are pretty much pie-in-the-sky at this point, but so are single atom transistors.

Re:It won't do any good (1)

Sir_Dill (218371) | more than 13 years ago | (#375161)

Just for the record. This isn't anything new. The Bus speed has been the bottle neck since the 486 days although not to the same degree as it is currently. Lets also not forget that bigger faster better isn't always the case. A bus that has twice the data bandwidth is faster than a bus that has half the bandwidth at twice the speed. Nobody looks at a Sun as being a slow machine even though by current pc standards they are low on the core speed scale. The average Sparc clocks in about 500 MHZ. But they are running a 64 bit architechture and 64 bit bus so they don't have to have the GHz at the core. I know that I am WAY over simplifying things here but the point is, the bus being the bottleneck is nothing new. I think the big chip manufacturers are worried that by releasing a new chipset that is incompatible with older hardware(at least on an I/O standpoint) that consumers won't fork over the bucks for it. Look at RDram...people bought it. If you build it consumers will buy it. Esp. us dumb americans*smirk*

Re:All us techies could learn something from this (1)

mandolin (7248) | more than 13 years ago | (#375162)

poke him in the eye. That'll impress him.

Re:It won't do any good (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 13 years ago | (#375163)

Some of the newer Athlon processors have 12x multipliers. That means the processor is working 12 times as fast as the rest of the system

Not quite, because Athlon bus is dual-pumped, it moves data twice for every clock cycle, which means that for a 1200 Mhz CPU with 12x multiplier you have a 200 Mhz equivalent bus - the CPU is really only 6 times faster than the bus.

As for the Pentium 4 and its 100 Mhzquad-pumped bus, it is 1500/(100x4) = 3,75 multiplier, which is even lower (and explain why this CPU is a screamer when it comes to bandwidth apps :)

Although I agree with you that other components need more improvement than the CPU, I still wish my box could uncompress 50 JPEG at 2048x536 res. in less than a second (speed required to browse my picture library with ACDSee :)

Re:Massive acceleration of Moore's Law (1)

KingAzzy (320268) | more than 13 years ago | (#375164)

Well, it's pretty hard to get below one atom, but I'm sure there's a clever and brilliant scientist out there somewhere who will figure out an ingenious way to up the ante even more. Stay tuned for further details on the next greatest invention on monday.

Perhaps next we'll enjoy the single-quark transistor.

NOT a single atom transistor (2)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 13 years ago | (#375165)

If you read the article, its a group of atoms arranged so that 1 electron makes the difference between open and closed.

Its not a single atom transistor, its a transistor switched on or off by a single electron.

All your base/collector/emitter belongs to us.

Zapped by cosmic rays (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 13 years ago | (#375166)

The trouble with making things so small is sooner or later one of those nano-scale components is going to be zapped by either a cosmic ray or background radiation from some other source. Considering how many of these particles hit our bodies each second, this could be a serious problem. Its not a big deal for current technologies, but when you are talking about single atoms and single electrons....

So, you are going to need very clever circuits to detect errors and switch-in replacements, which makes the thing bigger.

Re:Consequences of Moore's Law (4)

magi (91730) | more than 13 years ago | (#375167)

Speaking of Moore's Law, does this mean that in 18 months we'll have scientists promising half-atom transistors?

Naah, they start with Lawrencium 262, then in a few months they kick out a few neutrons and protons to make Fermium 256 (just to make these calculations easier). Then, with 18 month steps: Xenon 128, Zirconium 64, Sulphur 32, Oxygen 16, Beryllium 8 (9 is more stable though), Helium 4, Hydrogen 2, and finally Hydrogen 1 (ehm...a single proton).

Thus, it takes 12 years before they have to go to subatomics!

pico-wires (4)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 13 years ago | (#375168)

While the single-atom transistor thing is cool, it seems to me that the interesting part of this discovery/invention is the super-tiny wires they have to connect them. Now THAT's cool, and a big problem down there at the nano(pico?)-scale level.

What I want to know is, how will they connect this with normal electronics? They'd probably need 5 or 6 buffers in between to step down the current so as not to fry the tiny wires. Also, wouldn't a chip made with this technology be super-sensitive to interference? If a random cosmic ray hit it, it would probably be fried.

Hope they can solve all the problems. This sounds like really cool technology.

[me@localhost]$ prolog
| ?- god.
! Existence error in god/0

single atom AND / OR gates (4)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 13 years ago | (#375169)

In IEEE there was an article a year ago on single atom AND and OR gates. Basically they were dealing with the spin of the electrons. This would be equivelant to two transistors(maybe). At the time I am not sure if it was theoretical or not, but it does not suprise me. The problem is dealing with an interface to that level of technology. How do you connect a wire to this to actually get the output somewhere. This is the problem they had a year ago. If you have a micro chip that has atom sized transistors, how do you connect the wires to these chips to get the power to. Also with a conventional power supply how do you step down the power to that level without the massive overhead of creating a major conversion mechanism. 220/110 W to ??

Anyway it is a step, now we need the leap. What would really be neat is to see smaller PC parts today. A 2" network card and a 2" modem connecting to an 8"x6" MB would be sweet. Then my pc would be cut down to about 1/3 its current size. A cdrom drive that only 1/2 the cd went it rather than a drawer. Hmmm

I don't want a lot, I just want it all!
Flame away, I have a hose!

capitalization (1)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#375170)

Its perhaps feasible, but the company (if its the same one who created the single atom transistor) would lose out on the money it put into creating the original, so chances are if it IS created, I'm sure the company won't release it until it gains capital.

Massive acceleration of Moore's Law (3)

arnald (201434) | more than 13 years ago | (#375171)

As seen on Slashdot:

Sunday March 04, @08:37AM - Transistors 3 atoms wide [slashdot.org]
Thursday March 08, @08:08PM - Transistors 1 atom wide [slashdot.org]

So where will we be next Monday? :-)

Re:It won't do any good (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 13 years ago | (#375172)

I Agree, but the "BetaMax Effect" is in play here.

The "BetaMax Effect" is when we stupid Americans buy anything labeled "Bigger This, Faster That or Better Something" without regard to the whole picture.


"A microprocessor... is a terrible thing to waste." --

Re:What atom would that be? (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 13 years ago | (#375173)

One atom switches, the silver atom is just a cap. Misleading title, yes; out&out lie, no.

-------

Not small enough... (1)

ca1v1n (135902) | more than 13 years ago | (#375174)

I won't be satisfied until my processor runs at a high enough clock rate that it actually emits visible light at the processor frequency. This would start to happen at about 750 THz, according to my calculations. I guess they're going to have to go back to the drawing board for those critical path reductions...

Someday, if I'm lucky, I will be able to see the look of glee on my children's face as I help them upgrade from a red CPU to a blue one.

I Sure Hope... (4)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 13 years ago | (#375175)

...that after they make these things, they're careful to remember where they put them.
--

Re:What atom would that be? (2)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#375176)

Perhaps I just take stuff too literally, but saying "Single-Atom Transistor" is like saying "Computer on a Chip". I keep wondering about the I/O...

That single atom may be the key component, but it's useless without all the other atoms around it. Try building a lightswitch with just a single unbroken copper strip, and you'll see what I mean.

What do women and transistors have in common (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#375177)

- They are often biased
- They often amplify things out of proportion
- They can switch their minds in an instant
- They are often non-linear
- They consume energy

non-sequitor (2)

TheDullBlade (28998) | more than 13 years ago | (#375178)

RTFA. That's basic research you're bitching about, not superfast CPU development.

Better fab processes improve all the microcircuitry, not just the main processor.

Incidentally, the old modular tech you can snap together with thick, clumsy fingers can't be improved much further, which is why it's lagging. There's no sense bitching about your cheap swappable DIMMs when you won't shell out for faster RAM or buy a non-expandable machine. There is faster RAM available, it's just more expensive and needs a special set-up. Same thing for hard drives; people buy gigs, not MB/s. The market's producing what people want: layered caching of inexpensive, immense data stores.
---

Limits of this process? (1)

mr bushley (324084) | more than 13 years ago | (#375179)

Eventually, we'll need some type of new way of manipulating subatomic structures to make increasingly smaller transistors. The technology is starting to catch up with the raw science a bit; time to get experimenting!

Re:What atom would that be? -- Transitium. Z=451 (1)

Elivs (43960) | more than 13 years ago | (#375180)

Transitium. Z=451

It produced in fusion reactors. It is remarkably stable given its proton number. KGB physics developed it in the cold war in the hope of out developing the Western silicon chip. Only recently have they been able to produce it in crystals large enought to use in full comercial products.

Expect to see Russian Trn-451 PCs hitting the market this christmas.

Re:single atom AND / OR gates (1)

ibpooks (127372) | more than 13 years ago | (#375181)

A 2" network card and a 2" modem connecting to an 8"x6" MB would be sweet. Then my pc would be cut down to about 1/3 its current size. A cdrom drive that only 1/2 the cd went it rather than a drawer.

Wow! This new device would be so small and conveinent we could call it a laptop computer!

What do you think memory is made out of? (1)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 13 years ago | (#375182)

Memory is made of transistors too.

Obviously you didn't spend hours looking at them (1)

lonesome phreak (142354) | more than 13 years ago | (#375183)

Like I did. If some of those are plain, I'd like to be in your world. I didn't mean all of them where hot, just some of them.

Re:It won't do any good (1)

Account Number Three (317062) | more than 13 years ago | (#375184)

With a .003 x .004 micrometer transistor, put a gig of RAM and the whole video subsystem on the processor itself, and use a full-speed FSB to access the battery-supported terabyte of RAM that's replaced your hard disk entirely.

why so big? (2)

CaptainAvatar (113689) | more than 13 years ago | (#375185)

30 nautical miles is one friggin' huge transistor!
--

Power Density (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#375186)

Never mind the need for redundant transistors because you go to protect against Cosmic Rays (sort of defeats the purpose, no?)

There is a thing about Moore's Law and Power density. power density keeps going up with increasing density of computational activity. At some point it gets so dense that we need insane cooling, or else we are using warp cores for computational exercises. [perks up at the thought]

Now there is a idea. Subatomic quantum computing using a warp core. That should keep Moore's law going for a while.

Read the article! (1)

thistledown's name (254509) | more than 13 years ago | (#375187)

read the article, people! It is not a "one atom" transister, it is a 500 atom capaciter and 3 3-nanometer wires and the gate 4 nm from the capaciter. It only uses one electron for the current, which is why it is listed as 1 atom. There is still pleanty of room to shrink the transister.

Also, if someone made one-atom think walls on a transister, that could be taken one better by having one transister on each side of that wall, in effect, your 1/2 atom idea.

By the way, did you note the way he is planning to test this? Building a carbon nanotube onto the end of the probe to use as a circuit tester. I think those nanotubes will become more important in the future than anybody can guess.

Re:what does boon mean ??? (1)

Ryan Koppenhaver (322154) | more than 13 years ago | (#375188)

Tobias Boon was one of the creators of Mortal Kombat.

Re:Consequences of Moore's Law (1)

the_Brainz (308534) | more than 13 years ago | (#375189)

Um, mod this up. Not only is it actually funny, it's original too. Or do slashdot moderators not know what intelligence is? Yeah, go on, mod me down...

nano-money (2)

MelloDawg (180509) | more than 13 years ago | (#375190)

a new catch phrase? "Yeah my paycheck is so nano".

Re:single atom AND / OR gates (1)

the_Brainz (308534) | more than 13 years ago | (#375191)

Naah...this has got to be a troll. Surely no one is this stupid? Have you checked a computer catalogue in the last four years you fucking idiot? What long-forgotten era are you living in? Like the previous post says...ever heard of a laptop? Judging from your post, you're still wondering when someone is going to figure that you can use more than 640 kB of RAM, so a nice new ThinkPad sure would be faster than what you're running at the moment.

Quantum computers (1)

Sleen (73855) | more than 13 years ago | (#375192)

Oh yeah bring it on....

18 months later (3)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 13 years ago | (#375193)

they'll create a half-atom transistor.

By the way, really good Russian girls are here: http://bride.ru/ [bride.ru]

Re:or multiple transisters per atom (1)

TGK (262438) | more than 13 years ago | (#375194)

Damn.... that's harsh man....

This has been another useless post from....

Re:single atom AND / OR gates (1)

osorronophris (318023) | more than 13 years ago | (#375195)

Actually, since everything is really made out of NAND and NOR gates, each of which takes, say, four transistors, this is really equivalent to around 6 or 8 MOSFETs.

Re:Consequences of Moore's Law (1)

alexjohns (53323) | more than 13 years ago | (#375196)

Let's see. Hydrogen is 1 electron, 1 proton. The proton's made of quarks, (3 I believe?) At that point, we're firmly into quantum computing.

I can see it now - a chip composed entirely of neutrinos, which upon being released from its containment field (i.e. manufacturing) will instantaneously take off at the speed of light, (since you need about 3 light-years worth of lead to even have a chance of slowing a neutrino down.) So the neutrino chip is flying through space and with random interactions with other particles eventually becomes self-aware. Haven't seen that in a sci-fi novel. Whoever writes it, you're welcome to it. Send me a free copy, why don't you.

Higgs-Boson chips competing with photonic chips, competing with qubit chips. And all in my lifetime. Interesting times, indeed.
--

Question... (3)

boinger (4618) | more than 13 years ago | (#375197)

So, if it's a single atom, is it an existing element, or do we now get Transistorium? Just curious.

So basically... (2)

11thangel (103409) | more than 13 years ago | (#375198)

They found an element capable of being a transistor and are trying to market it. Either that or some physics nerd has waaaaay too much time on his hands....

And people call _ME_ a nerd...

Consequences of Moore's Law (4)

DeadMeat (TM) (233768) | more than 13 years ago | (#375199)

Speaking of Moore's Law, does this mean that in 18 months we'll have scientists promising half-atom transistors? Now that'll be really interesting . . .

(Disclaimer: don't bother flame^H^H^H^H^Hcorrecting me about Moore's Law not really being a law. I know that; I'm just joking.)

Re:That's gonna be hell on DIYers (2)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#375200)

The Intel Pentium XIII only costs $1.99 but the STM to install it in its socket costs upwards of several million...

Nanotechnology (1)

CoMmAnDeR_TuX (323765) | more than 13 years ago | (#375201)

Looks like Eric Drexler's idea of nanotechnology will finally be viable. Should this transistor be successful, then it will be possible to assemble a nanomachine that builds... other nanomachines! Imagine swarms of programmable nanobots attacking some patogenics inside the body, or repairing damaged DNA. This would be the greatest revolution in technology since man learned to use the fire.

Re:That's gonna be hell on DIYers (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#375202)

Easy, it's the one surrounded by 6 x 10^23 microfans. [slashdot.org]

Basically, all the angels dancing on the head of a pin, keeping it cool.

--

Re:Question... (1)

boinger (4618) | more than 13 years ago | (#375203)

I read it, too...Did I miss when they said what actual atom does it? All I remember reading is all of the peripheral atoms/molecules, but not the "core" guy.

(and, if it was in the article, what was it??)

Re:Question... (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 13 years ago | (#375204)

It's part of the silver atom well.

-------

Re:It won't do any good (1)

CoMmAnDeR_TuX (323765) | more than 13 years ago | (#375205)

Ok, you're right. But let's look at it by a different perspective. Why use ordinary RAM, or ordinary hard disks? With this huge density available, who needs these conventional peripherals? Of course such a processor should take a long time to roll out, so we can expect that mass storage devices using this same nanotechnology will be available. And it's likely that RAM will be undistinguishable from mass storage, both will converge to be just "plain memory"...

Single girl to date you? (2)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 13 years ago | (#375206)

creating the world's first single-atom transistor. ... Now if they could only get a single girl to date me.

<joke>
Now, if they created multiple-atom transitors, and you couldn't get multiple girls to date you, what makes you think that a single atom transitor is going to get you a single girl to date you?
</joke-cuz-ive-been-there-too>

overseas interest (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 13 years ago | (#375207)

"Aono said he has even better news from abroad. UCLA and Cambridge University are already expressing interest in co-development, and so are two undisclosed major U.S.-based semiconductor makers. "

Any guesses as to who those semiconducter makers might be? (All right, all right, I realize there are more like 3 or 4 for whom something like this could be CRITICAL...but we at least know ONE, right?)

Re:All us techies could learn something from this (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 13 years ago | (#375208)

No, explanation is STILL too complex, at least for our management and VIPs. May need to draw some pictures.

Oh, good! (2)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 13 years ago | (#375209)

Then, the notched electron is not too far off... :)

(What was the title of that story, by the way?)

--

You could also demonstrate: (2)

TheDullBlade (28998) | more than 13 years ago | (#375210)

  • sneeze on the desktop
  • ask the VIP to point his index finger
  • grab the VIP's hand
  • dip his finger in the mess on the desk
  • draw a transistor with his finger


See? It works like that.
---

Easy, if not cheap solution (2)

skybird0 (176892) | more than 13 years ago | (#375211)

"Now if they could only get a single girl to date me."

Have you considered calling an outcall (escort) service?

An atomic computer (1)

Sayjack (181286) | more than 13 years ago | (#375212)

Now if we could make a computer out of these atomic transistors, just think at how fast the Java VM would run!

Re:Half-Decayed Answer... (1)

HazMathew (207212) | more than 13 years ago | (#375213)

yea you dumb "fucktard"... you can't make mistakes here you... "fucktard".

Re:An interesting post, but (1)

shayne321 (106803) | more than 13 years ago | (#375214)

I don't see the contextual relevance...

I think the point was "wow, if they could overcome the huge odds of doing this, maybe they could overcome the huge odds of getting me a date" or something. Along those same lines, maybe they should take over slashdot, after all, if they could make a single atom transistor, maybe they could post an article with correct grammar.. (ducking)

Shayne

Re:Massive acceleration of Moore's Law (1)

kilonad (157396) | more than 13 years ago | (#375215)

We'll all be sucked into a black hole. ;)

Why have offchip DRAM at all? (2)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 13 years ago | (#375216)

They claim 1Tb on a 10cm^2 die. Let's assume
1 transistor per bit (pessimistic).

That's 1 x 10^11 transistors on a cm^2 die.

Do you realize how much SRAM memory that translates into? Roughly 2GB, with
enough transistors left over to have a CPU on the same die.

WITH A CPU LIKE THAT...

WHO NEEDS A MEMORY SUBSYSTEM?

Just give the thing some I/O pins to talk
to a bus!

PeterM

Re:pico-wires (1)

Bakerman (95715) | more than 13 years ago | (#375217)

This transistor technology (Single Electron Transistors [sunysb.edu] ) cannot be used to make large circuits, because it is extremely sensitive to spurious charges in its surroundings. It does have its special uses, though, e.g. ultra-precise current measurements, standards calibration, and that sort of thing.

What is more interesting is that this type of controlled manufacturing of quantum dots opens up the possibility of making quantum computers.

from the what-can-i-get-away-with dept (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 13 years ago | (#375218)

Personally, I think I'll live to see Moore's Law get sent to /dev/null with things like "Man will not fly" and "Man will never walk on the moon"*.

With the extensive probing into quantum machinery**, the question is, "How soon will it be that processors create their own dimension to perform advanced mathematical calculations. The question is, "When will be using planck's width to record data rather than Fe-Si combinates?" The question is, "Will the term 'wireless' come to mean that a small quantum bridge is created by the computer to read the data on another computer atoms?"
Or, one of my friend's favourite questions: Will a molecule count as a network?
You can keep your one atom transistors, I'm waiting for the chance to upgrade to a 2 1 H isotope!***

*No replies on the one-sided Fox special, please
**This has actually been around for a few years already, and has been mentioned on slashdot a few times, as well as making it to Michael Crichton's "Timeline", as a background to the ideas conveyed in the story.
***Don't tell me not to hold my breath, that, too, is another AnonCow-esk comment

Timmy, now would be a good time to SLEEP

I always thought it was obvious (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 13 years ago | (#375219)

It's a Rodenbury allusion to the character William Boone from "Earth: Final Conflict"

either that, or it's a "clever" way to say surpass or "move beyond the logic of"

Who's up for volleyball?

Re:Ohm's law, and other kvetches (1)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 13 years ago | (#375220)

Actually, RTFA has been used for quite a long time.
--
Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.

Re:single atom AND / OR gates (2)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 13 years ago | (#375221)

Laptops are not upgradable like desktops are. Try taking that video card out of your lap top. Oh you cannot. Some people have made desktop computers that are more in the direction I am talking about. Sort of like the cube. The problem with the cube is that it is not upgradeable. I am talking about a MB that is about 1/3 the size and 1/3 the power of current mb's. yes laptops are that small, but like I said try upgrading the video card on a laptop, or playing games. Also the price on an equivelant laptop (compared to the same desktop) is to great.

So tell me why does a PCI scsi card have to be 4" or so wide when the chips on it only take uyp about an inch? The fact is that many PCI and AGP cards today could be 2" wide. Also laptops either have a cdrom or floppy else everything is external. I want the computer to have a zip, floppy, 52x or greater cdrom and cdburner INSIDE the machine.

I don't want a lot, I just want it all!
Flame away, I have a hose!

All us techies could learn something from this guy (3)

TheDullBlade (28998) | more than 13 years ago | (#375222)

Emperor: This is only one finger. How can you make a tool?

Researcher: We can pick up a grain of rice when we wet the tip of our finger. That force is some kind of tool.

Now that is the way to dumb things down for management and VIPs.
---

Magnitudes of Order (1)

BornInASmallTown (235371) | more than 13 years ago | (#375223)

"This transistor will be three magnitudes of order smaller than the gigabit limit for MOS as predicted by Moore's Law."

Could someone please tell me what a "magnitude of order" is?

An order of magnitude would be equivalent in this context to a "power of 10", however, a magnitude of order seems more like a description of the Supreme Court.

no more woes (1)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#375224)

Now if only they could put a rush on this and send some of these to the poor folks in California suffering by powerco induced outages ;)

CIA snoopages [antioffline.com]

Re:Question... (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 13 years ago | (#375225)

Heh, I wondered that too, until I read the FSCKING article!

J/K.

Actually, the title IS kind of misleading... It's only one atom that does the switching-- but there are still a bunch of other atoms that control it. The single atom switches energy levels, so technically it's only one atom doing the switching.

It's still a huge quantum leap ahead of everything, though. I can't wait for these guys, assuming they're not vapor, which would be surprising.

-------

That's gonna be hell on DIYers (1)

OlympicSponsor (236309) | more than 13 years ago | (#375226)

Open the case, pull out the motherboard. Now, ONE of these atoms is the CPU...but which one.
--
Non-meta-modded "Overrated" mods are killing Slashdot

Boggles the mind... (1)

mholve (1101) | more than 13 years ago | (#375227)

That not all that long ago, we were using vaccuum tubes. Then the solid state transistors... Now we're down to an ATOM.

PROCESS vs PROTOTYPE (2)

Y2K is bogus (7647) | more than 13 years ago | (#375228)

Intel announced a PROCESS, not a prototype. The one buckyball transistor was a PROTOTYPE, not PROCESS. These are NOT the same.

A PROCESS is a way of actually manufacturing the transistor, a PROTOTYPE is simply the EXISTENCE of a transistor.

Intel could manufacture the 30nm transistor, however the 1nm transistor is merely a lab toy.

There is a HUGE distinction, get it straight.

or multiple transisters per atom (1)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 13 years ago | (#375229)

There is such thing as "half an atom". Maybe researchers can create a transistor using just a few electrons.

chris

Re:It won't do any good (1)

ryusen (245792) | more than 13 years ago | (#375230)

There are two viewpoints we cna look at this from. (was that yodaspeak?)
1- the CPU needs to let the rest of the sytem catch up, because it's now everything else that's bottlenecking
2- let each team reasearching each theory keep going because sooner or later people who are researching other methods will help the rest of the computer catch up.
but regardless they are talking about making really small transistors... these could be concieably used to make all kinds of chips not just cpus (someone correct me if i'm wrong)
we could have nao-northbridges, nano-memory, yada, yada...

News: Intel releases revolutionary processor! (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 13 years ago | (#375231)

Reuters is reporting that Intel will releasing the new Pentium V. It will be built with new neutrino technology We have finally broken the 1 atom barrier! Who needs heavy, charged particles for transistors! By altering the spin of the neutrino, we can achieve digital 1 and 0 values.

Re:What atom would that be? -- Transitium. Z=451 (2)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 13 years ago | (#375232)

i hate to let myself be trolled, but...

smoke crack much?

You people are whiney and ill informed (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 13 years ago | (#375233)

By the laws of quantum computing, that is NOT outside the realm of science, though, I think we're more likely to hear "single polymer beowulf cluster" than "single atom beowulf cluster," since, without more than one atom, you don't have a cluster yet.
Whoever marked you a troll should be dragged out to MIT and forced to sit in on a semester of Quantum Theory: Engineering for the Future

No, I don't know who comes up with these 1940's titles, but I'm willing bet it's been the same guy coming up with this stuff for the past 60 years. He's probably eight or ninety and a millionare with his own naming firm that now caetors to those disk-hogging power-point presentations.

Not physically possible (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 13 years ago | (#375234)

The happy little lepton we like to call the electron cannot be used as a transistor because it cannot be kept still. If you could stop a lepton, it would "shatter" into another form of radiation--in theory, that would be mostly microwave radiation though, it could invert or, after the moment of microwave release, revert, into beta radiation.
Though, I'm sure you only meant that as a joke, I just thought I'd throw in some momentary thought. I'm having a good day for a troll.

Ohm's law, and other kvetches (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 13 years ago | (#375235)

First off, in case you didn't actually READ this article*, the refence is to the thickness not the length of the transistor. Second, due to the ever annoying presence of Ohm's law, what starts off as a single electron could just be capacitated as another form of energy until it is release by the atom that transfered its energy, most likely in the form of heat.
This is why the field of superconductors is so much more interesting--perhaps, one day, it will only require a single electron, but you'll still be measuring atomic thickness.

*New abbreviation for /. : RTFA; I'm sure you can guess what it means.

RTFA and other whines (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 13 years ago | (#375236)

As I mentioned before, due to Ohm's law, unless this is a superconductor, it takes more than one electron, and the "single atom" is about width of the relay switch, not the total number of atoms involved in the transistor.
Normally, the atom chain would be guessed at Si, silicon, but it sounds like it will be Ag, silver.
200-250 is not a bad guess...for the number of pokemon. 124 would be more accurate by ways of the atomic table, including the undeclareds, the unnamed and the unstable.
Now that we've had a jausle into the world of chemistry, can we play a game of chartuse camerrida?

Rumors, lies, and Rob (1)

676946745 (317589) | more than 13 years ago | (#375237)

ersonally, I think I'll live to see Moore's Law get sent to /dev/null with things like "Man will not fly" and "Man will never walk on the moon"*.

With the extensive probing into quantum machinery**, the question is, "How soon will it be that processors create their own dimension to perform advanced mathematical calculations. The question is, "When will be using planck's width to record data rather than Fe-Si combinates?" The question is, "Will the term 'wireless' come to mean that a small quantum bridge is created by the computer to read the data on another computer atoms?"
Or, one of my friend's favourite questions: Will a molecule count as a network?
You can keep your one atom transistors, I'm waiting for the chance to upgrade to a 2 1 H isotope!***

*No replies on the one-sided Fox special, please
**This has actually been around for a few years already, and has been mentioned on slashdot a few times, as well as making it to Michael Crichton's "Timeline", as a background to the ideas conveyed in the story.
***Don't tell me not to hold my breath, that, too, is another AnonCow-esk comment

**Disclaimer: Opinions cited by me are not necessarily my opinions. Facts cited by me are not necessarily facts.

Beyond 2000 (1)

676946745 (317589) | more than 13 years ago | (#375238)

Did anyone ever see that Australian tv show Beyond 2000? So many wonderful inventions they showed. How many of those are you using today? Slashdot is just like Beyond 2000. Will any of us ever see plastic semiconductors in use? Quantum computers? How about space elevators?! You may now return to reality.

KaBoom??? (1)

the_mind_ (157933) | more than 13 years ago | (#375239)

What about make a CPU of uranium? Small AND selfpowerd!

It won't do any good (5)

Dr. Prakash Kothari (314326) | more than 13 years ago | (#375240)

I feel that too much emphasis is being placed on processor speed today. An important processor is nice, but we need to take the emphasis off of multi-gigahertz processing, and take a step back to develop other components to the same technological advancement. We're rapidly approching a point where a two, five, or even ten gigahertz processor isn't going to improve performance, because it's no longer the limiting factor. I'd love to have my own processor made from single atom transistors, but first, we need to work on improving bus speeds, memory latency, and hard disk access time. Without all of these factors working in unison at high speeds, the only thing you're going to get from an ultrafast processor is a lighter wallet.

Just look at some of the benchmarks on Tom'sHardware [tomshardware.com] . The majority of them are all dead even after processor speeds hit 8 or 9 hundred Mhz.

Some of the newer Athlon processors have 12x multipliers. That means the processor is working 12 times as fast as the rest of the system. This is wasteful, and you end up with a lot of dead processor cycles because the RAM/system bus can't provide enough data for processing. Manufacturer's need to stop throwing money at superfast processor development, and work on improving system bus speeds, and latency/throughput of RAM.

Half-Decayed Answer... (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 13 years ago | (#375241)

And the half-life of Transistorium is eighteen parsecs?

You call that small? (1)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 13 years ago | (#375242)

The end of Moore's Law my ass! Bring on the single-electron transistor! THEN we'll be getting somewhere (quarks notwithstanding).

Getting Closer ... (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 13 years ago | (#375243)

Terra-Transistor Processors + Terra-Terra-byte Storage + IBM's Quantum Teleportation [ibm.com] = "Beam Me Up Scotty"


"A microprocessor... is a terrible thing to waste." --

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