Friday, December 07, 2007

Going Ballistic & Then Some...

Going Ballistic applies not only to people getting REALLY ANGRY but also to a new way of processing information. As per the article written in Science Times titled Radical Computing Chip Bounces Electrons Around Like Billiard Balls, chip designers from the University of Rochester are working on a new way to crunch bits. Enter the Ballistic Deflection Transistor, a device that "adds a new twist by bouncing the electrons into their chosen trajectories—using inertia to redirect for "free," instead of wrestling the electrons into place with brute energy."

By building chips in this fashion, compute speeds will dramatically rise while greatly reducing power requirements because electrons can be guided and not corralled in getting them to do the right thing.

Taking the bouncing ball concept a little further could involve using Graphene, a monolayer of carbon as this unique material is not only mechanically very strong, it also "can act as an atomic-scale billiard table, with electric charges acting as billiard balls."

Last but not least, scientists created the first tunable gap semiconductor using graphene. The reason for the excitement? "A semiconductor with a “tuneable” gap that can be changed externally – by applying a voltage, for example – could lead to new types of electronic devices, notably lasers where the wavelength of the light could be dialled-up with great precision. "

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke
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