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February 1st, 2005
Researchers from the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computing giant have created devices called crossbar latches that can be used to perform calculations in microprocessors, the same function silicon transistors now have.
The difference is that crossbar latches--which consist of a grid of microscopic wires linked by molecules at their intersections--are far smaller and, potentially, far cheaper to make because they are produced using processes more akin to inkjet printing rather than the ornate etching processes required for today's chips. Both factors give chipmakers an opportunity to dodge some of the technical difficulties and painful costs awaiting them in coming decade.
HP has already shown how crossbar latches can be used in memory.
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