Handheld Supercomputer On the Way
A study to be published in the journal Science holds promise for the future development of tiny, handheld supercomputers. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and the University of Rome teamed to examine how nano-sized wires behave in the micro-world. The wires, millionths of a millimeter in size, are the key to producing microchips small enough to shrink existing computer technology by many orders of magnitude.
According to the engineers involved in the study, the wires -- 1,000 times smaller than a human hair -- behave differently on the nanoscale as compared to the bigger wires in use today. Noting these idiosyncrasies, the University of Edinburgh researchers have created a computer program that predicts the behavior of the miniscule wires and make them more amenable for effective use in mini-microchips that would be found in products such as a palm-sized supercomputer.
Some of the advances scientists envision for the nanotechnology are cellular phones with the computing power of a laptop, computers the size of a matchbox and miniaturized medical tools that assist diagnosis and treatment. The nano-size wires originally stymied researchers with their erratic behavior, but the new computer program seems to accurately predict aberrant behavior.
So does that mean we'll be seeing Leopard in the iPhone soon? Maybe not this year, but probably not much more than a decade, so stay tuned!