IBM Eyes DNA For Chip Development - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
News
8/17/2009
09:03 AM
50%
50%

IBM Eyes DNA For Chip Development

A breakthrough in DNA-based chip design by IBM and Caltech could help maintain Moore's Law well into the future.

The race to produce smaller and smaller microchips for everything from automobile systems to mobile communications devices has led IBM to turn to one of the very building blocks of life for help with the process—DNA molecules.

IBM researchers, along with scientists at the California Institute of Technology, have discovered that the tiny components that run along a chip's silicone surface will self-adhere to previously laid down DNA patterns.

That makes DNA an ideal "scaffolding" that chip designers can use to create origami-like complex patterns on top of which they can add carbon nanotubes, nanowires, and other microscopic materials that control the flow of electronics across a computer chip.

"The cost involved in shrinking features to improve performance is a limiting factor in keeping pace with Moore's Law and a concern across the semiconductor industry," said Spike Narayan, Science & Technology manager at IBM's Almaden research lab in San Jose, CA.

Moore's Law holds that computing power at a given cost doubles every two years. Gains in chip speeds over the past two decades have largely been obtained by shrinking components. But with some parts now at microscopic levels, engineers are having an increasingly difficult time building on previous work.

Narayan said IBM and Caltech's breakthrough in DNA-based chip design could help maintain Moore's Law well into the future.

"The combination of this directed self-assembly with today's fabrication technology could lead to substantial savings in the most expensive and challenging part of the chip-making process," said Narayan.

IBM plans to publish a paper on the research in the September issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an analysis of why automation is good for IT.

Comment  | 
Email This  | 
Print  | 
RSS
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll