Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Caltech have created the most compact computer memory chip of all time. In a size of a WBC (white blood cell), the device is so powerful that it can easily store the US Declaration of Independence.
The information storage capacity of the chip stands at a moderate 160 kbits and the mass production of the chip is still a distant dream that would take almost a decade to come true, but the achievement is a pre-reflection of the probable exponential development of computing power in future.
The experimental chip exhibits the potential and power of molecular manufacturing tacks that guarantee to conquer the size constraints of silicon circuits. Industry experts expects that if the growth continues at this pace, then by 2013, the density of silicon circuits will reach its theoretical maximum value.
The keys to the computing device are extra thin wires designed in the laboratory of James Heath, chemist, Caltech, and molecular switched manufactured by J. Fraser Stoddart, chemist, UCLA.
To fabricate the computing chip, the researchers carved 400 parallel wires crossed by another layer of 400 wires at 90 degrees, each with a width of 0.000024 mm or less than a millionth of an inch, and separated by approx 1/750,000th of an inch from its adjacent wire. In between the two layers of the grid, molecular switches are deposited.
But the research workers have to wait before making the newly developed chip a success story. Only around 30% of the junctions of the chip work, although it’s feasible to program the defective ones. Moreover, the researcher team hasn’t been able to construct leads that are small enough to join to each of the 800 grid wires.
According to the RNCOS report “Photovoltaics – A high potential market opportunity (2005-2010)”, silicon-based photovoltaics (PV) systems, outshining thin film-based PV systems, dominate around 90% of the market. Falling PV costs provides loads of opportunities for the employment of this technology particularly in developing low-cost countries like India and China.
The market research report is a compilation of in-depth analysis on the global photovoltaics market with emphasis on various technologies and devices (like PV systems, stand-alone and hybrid systems, CIS, CdTe, homojunction, and multijunction devices) in all the major economies. Applications areas, industry performance and future forecast have been discussed in detail coupled with a rational account on growth factors, opportunities, challenges, and key players.
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