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Arm recording tech may net 10X smaller chips

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Fri October 24, 2008

Plasmonic Recording Tech

Researchers at the University of California's Berkeley campus today said they have discovered a new technique that may result in much smaller electronics as well as optical storage. By using an extremely small writing arm that depends on lenses with plasmons, or the results of quantum plasma oscillations, the new technology can etch data much more closely spaced together than current hardware while using a process similar to a hard drive; 80 nanometer circuits are possible today but can already shrink down to five nanometers depending on the process.

The process could result in processors and other circuitry that could be a tenth the size of current chips and would be faster as a result. Optical storage would also be improved by permitting more pits on a given disc. Both should also be faster in producing their end products, UC Berkeley says: as the approach is constant and can involve multiple parallel lenses, each pass can be made more quickly and include more at once.

The university anticipates a relatively short turnaround for its research and hopes for full-scale production within three to five years. [via DailyTech]

by MacNN Staff



  1. nickgold2012

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Moore's law lives on!

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cool, but...

    in three to five years the process will likely have little impact on optical (ie portable and removable storage) as flash media should be able to outpace it in both capacity and durability. I can't wait to see what other uses can be developed through this technology though.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what about leakage?

    What about electron leakage and other problems with smaller and smaller circuits? They are already having problems with that as they go smaller now let alone 10x.

    I am not a EE so I am going from reading public tech journal articles etc.

  1. gitcypher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm an EE :)

    Another issue is crosstalk between wires. Basically, the magnetic field caused by the current traveling through one wire can induce a current through neighboring wires.

    Plus, the reason you've seen processors go to multiple cores rather than faster and smaller designs like this, is because features this small tend to go out of the bounds of 'regular' physics.

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