Nanotech included in semiconductor industry roadmap

Robert Bradbury brings to our attention an article by John Markoff in The New York Times on the inclusion of nanotech into the semiconductor industry’s roadmap:

“Nanotechnology is officially on the road map. A handful of futuristic chip-making technologies at the atomic scale have been added to an industry planning effort that charts the future of the semiconductor manufacturing industry every two years…

“The shift away from conventional silicon transistors has become an important part of the industry’s thinking, though the use of nanotechnology is not expected to replace current chip-making processes for another decade…

“What has changed in the industry’s road map is the growing confidence in new technologies that make electronic switches from single molecules or even single electrons.

“The development of nanoswitches has reached a point where it will be possible to manufacture them reliably at low cost, according to several researchers who have been involved in the preparation of the report. The New York Times obtained a draft of a report chapter titled “Emerging Research Devices.”

“The transition to new nanotechnology techniques could occur around 2015, when chip makers will have exhausted their ability to shrink the wires and switches that make up the modern processors and memory storage devices at the heart of the computer, communications and consumer electronics industries.”

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