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Joint Project to Create a Processor the Size of a Molecule

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The European Union will launch a project on Jan. 1, 2011, to build a single molecule processor chip. The Atomic Scale and Single Molecule Logic Gate Technologies (ATMOL) project will establish a new process for making a complete molecular chip. About 1,000 molecular chips would be able to fit into one of today's microchips, which suggests the creation of processors the size of a molecule.

ATMOL will use three ultra-high vacuum (UHV) atomic-scale interconnection machines to build the chip atom by atom. The machines used for the fabrication process will physically move atoms into place one at a time at cryogenic temperatures.

Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), which has a UHV machine capable of studying the performance of a single molecule logic gate and surface atom circuit logic gate, will work on the project. "The work in this project is extremely important in setting the stage for how computer chips and electronics may be made in the future," says A*STAR's Andy Hor.

From Agency for Science, Technology and Research
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