Taiwan unveils super-tiny microchip

December 16th, 2009 in Technology / Semiconductors
An electronic image shows six transistors installed in a space measuring 300 nanometres by 130 nanometres on a microchip developed by State-backed National Nano Device Laboratories.


An electronic image shows six transistors installed in a space measuring 300 nanometres by 130 nanometres on a microchip developed by State-backed National Nano Device Laboratories.

Taiwan has developed tiny microchips that could lead to lighter and cheaper laptops or mobile phones, researchers and observers said Wednesday.

State-backed National Nano Device Laboratories in northern Hsinchu city said it had succeeded in packing more into smaller chip space than anyone else so far.

"Electronic gadgets like cellphones and laptops could become smaller, lighter and cheaper with this technology," Yang Fu-liang, the lab's chief, told AFP.

Currently, laptops seldom weigh less than about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) but the latest development could see notebook computers weighing as little as 500 grams.

"It's indeed the most advanced ever," said Nobunaga Chai, an analyst at Digitimes, a Taipei-based industry publication.

The field Yang and his team are working on is called 16-nanometre technology, referring to the space between transistors on a chip. The smaller the space, the more transistors can be fitted on to the .

An average human finger nail is 25 million nanometres long. Researching new technologies at this microscopic level poses formidable challenges to scientists.

"Sixteen nanometres used to be considered the final frontier," said Yang.


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(c) 2009 AFP

"Taiwan unveils super-tiny microchip." December 16th, 2009. http://phys.org/news180166164.html