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Handheld supercomputers only 10-15 years away
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Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 27 October 2007 09:32
 Nanotechnology researcher Michael Zaiser says that with the progress the tech world is making, handheld supercomputer is less than two decades away

By Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld
October 26, 2007
One nanotechnology researcher said supercomputers small enough to fit into the palm of your hand are only 10 or 15 years away."If things continue to go the way they have been in the past few decades, then it's 10 years," said Michael Zaiser, a professor and researcher at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering and Electronics. "The human brain is very good at working on microprocessor problems, so I think we are close -- 10 years, maybe 15."

Zaiser's research into nanowires should help move that timeline along.

For the last five years, he has been studying how tiny wires -- 1,000 times thinner than a human hair -- behave when manipulated. He explained that each such miniscule wire tends to behave differently when put under the same amount of pressure. Therefore, it has been impossible to line them up close to each other in tiny microprocessors in a production atmosphere.

Zaiser said he's now figured out how to make the wires behave uniformly. He separates the interior material of the wire into distinct groups so the wire can't react as a whole. That makes it much easier to control. "It's like crowd control," he added. "If they can all go one way, you have a big mess."

These nanowires will go inside microprocessors that could, in turn, go inside PCs, laptops, cell phones, or even supercomputers. And the smaller the wires, the smaller the chip can be.... More

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