Integrated Circuits the Size of Molecules

© 1999 by Linda Moulton Howe

"In ten years potentially, we will have entire computers not just in your wrist watch, but woven into our clothing. Or a slurry of computers painted on your wall." 

Phil Kueckes, Computer Architect,
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Palo Alto, California, July 1999

August 18, 1999  Palo Alto, California ­ In mid-July 1999, Hewlett-Packard Labs and the University of California at Los Angeles made headlines with a breakthrough that seems like science fiction ­ making integrated circuits for computers no bigger than molecules. Currently, the on-off switches for computing are made by etching pathways with beams of light on silicon wafer chips. But light has a wavelength and cannot make anything smaller than that wavelength.


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