Seven Atom Transistor Sets the Pace for Future PCs.

BBC News (05/24/10)

A working transistor that contains only seven atoms has been built by a team in Australia. The researchers, led by University of New South Wales professor Michelle Simmons, developed the atomic transistor as part of a project to create a quantum computer. The atoms in a silicon crystal were replaced with phosphorus atoms using a scanning tunneling microscope. “Now we have just demonstrated the world’s first electronic device in silicon systematically created on the scale of individual atoms,” Simmons says. The working transistor was handmade, so there is a need for a process for developing them in large numbers. The researchers say the device could lead to chips that have components that are up to 100 times smaller than those on current processors. Simmons says the development could result in an “exponential” leap in processing power.

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