Friday, January 6th 2012

World's Smallest Silicon Wire Leads To Atomic-Scale Computing, Moore's Law Continues

News of quantum breakthroughs seem to be coming every few months now, edging ever closer towards the hallowed goal of building a quantum computer using quantum qubits rather than classical bits and bringing colossal improvements in computational power. This will eventually lead to applications that we can't even imagine now and possibly a true artificial intelligence of the kind one sees in the movies. Also, it would allow calculations that would normally take longer than the lifetime of the universe on a classical computer to be made in just a few seconds or minutes on a quantum one. A goal well worth striving for.

The latest breakthrough comes from the University of New South Wales, Melbourne University and Purdue University who have developed the smallest wire yet. It's a silicon nanowire, having the tiny dimensions of just one atom high and four atoms wide. This is a feat in itself, but the crucial part is that the wire is able to maintain its resistivity even at this atomic level, making it far easier for current to flow, thereby preventing the tiny wire from becoming useless. This will help with the continuation of Moore's Law, giving us ever more powerful computers at the present rate and opens the door to quantum computing within the next decade.

TechEYE has a more detailed article about this development. This is based on an ABC Radio interview with Michelle Simmons from the University of New South Wales and makes for fascinating listening.
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53 Comments on World's Smallest Silicon Wire Leads To Atomic-Scale Computing, Moore's Law Continues

#1
Jarman
You HAVE TO DIE. The world is overpopulated as it is, so if we all live forever every 70 years or so the worlds population is gonna double, i don't think that will work.....

Go enjoy the life you have, be thankful that you have it. myabe log off warcraft once a week.
Posted on Reply
#2
TurdFergasun
twicksisted said:
So you wouldnt object to a chosen global elite coming in and wiping you and your family off the face of the earth then ;)

Have to start somewhere with the cull!
no son, but i would support 1 child per house. i can see why your adolescent mind would run with ego and go on the offensive, but there are sensible alternatives to the issue that ppl just don't want to look at.... alot of you are like a pack of D grade students who think things will just work themselves out. high school is over, we have nowhere else to go if your crap logic fails any harder.

here is a picture for you to better understand why we're "suddenly" coming up against these problems.

http://www.transitioncygnet.org/bits/special/world.population.history.gif

maybe visual aids can help. very simple to follow. we made more just cause it was the thing to do.... now it's not and we need to switch gears, or it won't be some "elite" force that comes to choose who lives and dies. it will be your neighbours out of necessity and scarcity of food, money and water. of course IF technology shows up that can magically wave a wand to fix the issue great we live another day, but magic solutions are for morons, and morons shouldn't be given the choice of whether or not to uncontrollably overpopulate the world and take everyone down with them.
Posted on Reply
#3
Jarman
hmmm not sure i follow your logic about how infinite computing power would make pollution impossible?? They require fossil fules to both build and run. their manufacture creates very evironmentally damaging waste, espeically lcd screens, plus after 3 years they are usually disguarded....the road to infinite computing power in my view can only be extremely detremental to the environment.
Posted on Reply
#4
twicksisted
TurdFergasun said:
no son, but i would support 1 child per house. i can see why your adolescent mind would run with ego and go on the offensive.
Far from offended, Im just amused by your comment of everyone needs to die thats all.

( Bit creepy calling a 33 year old "son" dont you think :) )
Posted on Reply
#5
Jarman
give me your internet connection twick...stop being so greedy, u don't need that.
Posted on Reply
#6
twicksisted
Jarman said:
give me your internet connection twick...stop being so greedy, u don't need that.
All your internets are belong to us!


TurdFergasun said:
and morons shouldn't be given the choice of whether or not to uncontrollably overpopulate the world and take everyone down with them.
So now you are better than others and should have preference over resources and who gets to die and breed?

Sounds fair :)
Posted on Reply
#7
Jarman
bah i'm happy with being faster than 70% of uk living in rural wales :P
Posted on Reply
#8
twicksisted
Jarman said:
bah i'm happy with being faster than 70% of uk living in rural wales :P
yeah you dont notice much of a diff's browsing on 100Mb, torrents fly though, can suck Gb's down fast which is good if youre a pirate ... Yarrr! :)
Posted on Reply
#9
TurdFergasun
twicksisted said:
All your internets are belong to us!




So now you are better than others and should have preference over resources and who gets to die and breed?

Sounds fair :)
while i agree, who chooses the criteria is a massive choice, that 1 that needs to be made, problem is the auto childlike responses to solution. the words i've quoted from you are those of a child, use big boy eyes to view the problem, or maybe you've just shat out your litter of clones and are too defensive to be objective. i'm not saying i don't do moronic things, but people habitually do them, and base their lives around making moronic choices that affect everyone else to the detriment of not only the human species but the rest of life in this sealed life dome we call home as well.

you want to duplicate yourself into extinction?

regardless, i'm happy to make the un-popular observation for people like you who are too beligerant in how awesome you think you are to bother to look at what damage you do, or to even see the problem for an issue at all. it's nice that i can shed some light at all on it regardless of how dim the person viewing the words are.

whats your solution to overpopulation? just cross your fingers hope tech works it out, or is teh jebus coming to fix things cause you like a book?
Posted on Reply
#10
Mussels
Moderprator
Jarman said:
You HAVE TO DIE.
thats worthy of being in a sig.




gotta love TPU at times:


Tech breakthrough!
sexbots!
skynet!
YOU MUST DIE



^ guess which ones skynet, folks?
Posted on Reply
#11
twicksisted
TurdFergasun said:
while i agree, who chooses the criteria is a massive choice, that 1 that needs to be made, problem is the auto childlike responses to solution. the words i've quoted from you are those of a child, use big boy eyes to view the problem, or maybe you've just shat out your litter of clones and are too defensive to be objective. i'm not saying i don't do moronic things, but people habitually do them, and base their lives around making moronic choices that affect everyone else to the detriment of not only the human species but the rest of life in this sealed life dome we call home as well.

you want to duplicate yourself into extinction?

regardless, i'm happy to make the un-popular observation for people like you who are too beligerant in how awesome you think you are to bother to look at what damage you do, or to even see the problem for an issue at all. it's nice that i can shed some light at all on it regardless of how dim the person viewing the words are.


whats your solution to overpopulation? just cross your fingers hope tech works it out, or is teh jebus coming to fix things cause you like a book?
Is there a history of mental illness in your family?
You really sound like you could do with some meds dude.
Posted on Reply
#12
v12dock
14nm transistors are 60 atoms across and explain to people its essentially a "light switch" that is smaller than a virus

Now something that is conductive @ 4 atoms wide :eek:
Posted on Reply
#13
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Man that wire would break easy !
Posted on Reply
#14
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
v12dock said:
14nm transistors are 60 atoms across and explain to people its essentially a "light switch" that is smaller than a virus

Now something that is conductive @ 4 atoms wide :eek:
Yes, that's quite something. Simmons said that resistivity usually increases exponentially below 10nm, so making something this small is a real achievement.
Posted on Reply
#15
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Man sure would be a pisser to solder that thing if you broke it !
Posted on Reply
#16
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
trickson said:
Man sure would be a pisser to solder that thing if you broke it !
The tweezers to hold it would have to be mighty small too...
Posted on Reply
#17
v12dock
qubit said:
Yes, that's quite something. Simmons said that resistivity usually increases exponentially below 10nm, so making something this small is a real achievement.
Such little surface for electrons to transfer over

I love computer science maybe one day I will understand it better
Posted on Reply
#18
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
In the '60s and '70s, people awe-struck by NASA's computing power must have thought that that much computing power in the wrong hands could be catastrophic. Today that much computing power runs PlantsVsZombies. I don't think there will ever be a time when humanity will have "too much computing power, with the bad consequences if held by the wrong people". And I think people working on robotics and AIs are smart enough to know their bounds thanks to Asimov and Terminator.
Posted on Reply
#19
Widjaja
Some of the talk in this thread reminds me of an old movie called Cherry 2000.

I think such robots would cause a massive population decrease as people would prefer to spend their lives with a robot (if it became accepted) rather than a human.
Posted on Reply
#20
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Widjaja said:
Some of the talk in this thread reminds me of an old movie called Cherry 2000.

I think such robots would cause a massive population decrease as people would prefer to spend their lives with a robot (if it became accepted) rather than a human.
If they got over the uncanny valley, that could well happen, but it won't be anytime soon. Just think, unlimited sex on tap (no arguments and "witholding") with a beautiful, hot fembot and no chance of catching a disease. It could be a dream come true for many people.
Posted on Reply
#21
Widjaja
qubit said:
If they got over the uncanny valley, that could well happen, but it won't be anytime soon. Just think, unlimited sex on tap (no arguments and "witholding") with a beautiful, hot fembot and no chance of catching a disease. It could be a dream come true for many people.
Indeed.
There would be much less in the way of prostitution too.
This would also work for females as well.

But of course there will be the nay sayers.
Parents who wish their child to be a parent as well.
Posted on Reply
#22
Covert_Death
btarunr said:
In the '60s and '70s, people awe-struck by NASA's computing power must have thought that that much computing power in the wrong hands could be catastrophic. Today that much computing power runs PlantsVsZombies. I don't think there will ever be a time when humanity will have "too much computing power, with the bad consequences if held by the wrong people". And I think people working on robotics and AIs are smart enough to know their bounds thanks to Asimov and Terminator.
lol computing power of that time WISHES it could run plantsvszombies. anyway, at THAT POINT IN TIME, yes, that much computing power in the wrong hands could have very well been a bad thing... think about it, if north korea had nukes from somewhere as well as that much computing power, they could have figured out how to deliever nukes to the US from orbit, and we would have been defenseless
Posted on Reply
#23
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Widjaja said:
Indeed.
There would be much less in the way of prostitution too.
This would also work for females as well.

But of course there will be the nay sayers.
Parents who wish their child to be a parent as well.
Just imagine how all the big religions would react to it. It would likely be the 'work of the devil' and be totally condemned all round. :laugh:

Except of course, for the brand new Church Of Kopimism. ;) Just read that New Scientist interview to see what I mean.
Posted on Reply
#24
Saidrex
...one step closer to SkyNet.

At this rate in 2012 really could be end of the world.

But honestly, great job. I imagine what cool computer games will be on quantum computers.
Posted on Reply
#25
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Here's New Scientist's take on this story. They're not so sure how great this will be for quantum computing:
Not everything is weird at the nanoscale. Wires so small you'd expect them to obey the strange laws of quantum mechanics have instead displayed the same electrical properties as ordinary electrical interconnects.

The finding bodes well for conventional computers, because these tiny, conductive wires could make chips smaller. It could be bad news, though, for the super-fast quantum computers that are hoped to come next.
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