"DNA Origami" May Allow Chip Makers to Keep Up With Moore's Law

By Eliza Strickland | August 17, 2009 7:09 pm

DNA chipThe next big leap in computing power may come from a surprising source: the genetic code. Researchers at IBM have found a way to use DNA strands as the scaffolding on which to place carbon nanotubes, creating tiny microchips that could eventually be more efficient and cheaper to produce than today’s silicon chips. To keep pace with Moore’s Law, which postulates that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit will double every two years, chip makers have to squeeze an increasing number of transistors onto every chip [Wired.com]. The new process offers an entirely different route to miniaturization.

Microchips are used in computers, cell phones and other electronic devices…. Right now, the tinier the chip, the more expensive the equipment. [An IBM spokesman] said that if the DNA origami process scales to production-level, manufacturers could trade hundreds of millions of dollars in complex tools for less than a million dollars of polymers, DNA solutions, and heating implements [Reuters].

In the study, which appears in the September issue of Nature Nanotechnology, researchers explain that they started with the process of “DNA origami,” in which scraps of virus DNA are coaxed into self-assembling in precisely folded shapes. “The utility of this approach lies in the fact that the positioned DNA nanostructures can serve as scaffolds, or miniature circuit boards, for the precise assembly of components,” according to IBM [CNET]. The researchers then layered millions of nanotubes over the scaffold, where they adhered to form tiny integrated circuits.

While the technology shows promise, it is years away from practical use, the scientists warned. “It’s too early to say whether this will be a game changer,” [IBM scientist Bob] Allen said. “But we’re pretty enthusiastic about the potential of this technique” [PCWorld].

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Image: IBM

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Physics & Math, Technology
  • D Maxwell Hedden

    My sister’s granddaughter just came out of surgery. She was wake boarding and got to close to a dock and hit it at about 20 mph.

    One arm was shattered pretty bad. The surgeons had never had to reconstruct a child’s arm before, so it was new territory.

    I can see now, some little girl being restored, because of this wonderful glue potential.

    I have no idea how the doctors accomplished a possible restoration without this discovery, but, it sounds like this will be an improvement, and will make some mom and dad thrilled at the prospects—Grampas and Grammas too.

    D.Maxwell Heddden
    Coeur d’ Alene, ID

  • D Maxwell Hedden

    My sister’s granddaughter just came out of surgery. She was wake boarding and got to close to a dock and hit it at about 20 mph.

    One arm was shattered pretty bad. The surgeons had never had to reconstruct a child’s arm before, so it was new territory.

    I can see now, some little girl being restored, because of this wonderful glue potential.

    I have no idea how the doctors accomplished a possible restoration without this discovery, but, it sounds like this will be an improvement, and will make some mom and dad thrilled at the prospects—Grampas and Grammas too.

    D.Maxwell Heddden
    Coeur d’ Alene, ID

  • http://www.pcb-value.com pcb manufacture

    is this where IBM play god with technology and AI is born!

  • http://www.symmecon.com Dale B. Ritter, B.A.

    Ultra-miniaturization is inexorable. The physics of IC chip operation must be mathematically modeled by relative quantum wavefunction physics to design or analyze the components for performance. There is a way; the RQT (relative quantum topological) function approach to nanoelectronic force and energy simulation. This method gives the equation for one atom as the series expansion differential Schrodinger equation, in spacetime boundaries. While space is taken as bonded to psi by gravity the limits of nuclear pulsation at {Nhu=e/h} by {e=m(c^2)} transform of nuclear mass to forcons with valid joule values are gravity and time. The GT integral atomic wavefunction results, a polytrope with picoyoctometric topological atomic video imaging.
    This model atom’s internal momentum function is next written, rearranged to the photon gain rule and integrated for GT boundaries. A set of 26 wavefunctions results, each defining the topology of a class of waveparticles of the 5/2 kT J energy intermedon cloud. These 26 energy values intersect the sizes for the fundamental physical constants: h, h-bar, delta, nuclear magneton, beta magneton, k. Each is displayed as a topologiacl image, defining the complete model of one atom as a 3D, animated, interactive video data image. It allows cutaway views of electron topology.
    Images of the h-bar magnetic energy waveparticle of ~175 picoyoctometers are available at http://www.symmecon.com, with the complete material modeling guide The Crystalon Door.
    (C)2009, Dale B. Ritter, B.A.

  • Yogurt

    @Dale…

    You are a total moron.

    You are just babbling incoherantly. This has NOTHING at all to do with quantum mechanics.

    Besides, even if you were on topic, your suggested methodology is completely flawed. Any 11th grade physics student could tell you that you FAILED to account for Schodinger’s 5th law which makes your joule values absolutely MEANINGLESS for this type of application.

    Next time you want to try and sound intelligent, have somebody proofread your insipid work first, you fool.

    Symmecon.com is nothing but a cesspoll of lonely failed conspiracy theorists. Pathetic, really.

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