First programmable nanowire circuits for nanoprocessors

Brian Wang from Next Big Future writes with news of a major step toward functional nanoprocessors based upon fully scalable nanowire tiles, which also advances the field toward part of the Feynman Grand Prize:

Programmable nanoprocessor built from nanowires. In a significant step forward in complexity and capability for bottom-up assembly of nanoelectronic circuits, Yan et al. [abstract] demonstrate scalable and programmable logic tiles based on semiconductor nanowire transistor arrays. The same logic tile, consisting of 496 configurable transistor nodes in an area of about 960 square micrometres, can be programmed and operated as a full-adder or full-subtractor circuit, and used for various other functions including multiplexers. It should be possible in [the] future to cascade these logic tiles to realize fully integrated nanoprocessors with computing, memory and addressing capabilities. Still 1000 times larger than needed for part of the Feynman Grand Prize.
Researchers at Harvard and MITRE produce world’s first programmable nanoprocessor with potential for 2 Terahertz switching

The authors of the Nature paper include Charles M. Lieber, winner of the 2001 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology in the Experimental category, and James C. Ellenbogen, frequent presenter at the Foresight Conferences on Molecular Nanotechnology and longtime supporter of the Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award. This discovery was also announced in a press release from the Harvard School of Engineering and Appied Sciences Researchers at Harvard and MITRE produce world’s first programmable nanoprocessor:

… “This work represents a quantum jump forward in the complexity and function of circuits built from the bottom up, and thus demonstrates that this bottom-up paradigm, which is distinct from the way commercial circuits are built today, can yield nanoprocessors and other integrated systems of the future,” says principal investigator Charles M. Lieber …

“This new nanoprocessor represents a major milestone toward realizing the vision of a nanocomputer that was first articulated more than 50 years ago by physicist Richard Feynman,” says James Ellenbogen, a chief scientist at MITRE. …

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