Scientists have emerged from their smoke filled labs saying that they have created a transistor 10 times smaller than those commonly in use now.
Apparently if you are the sort for marking calendars the discovery will be the start of a new age of super-fast, super-powerful computing and peace will guide our planet, and love will rule the stars.
The transistor is based around a “quantum dot”, which measures just four billionths of a metre and is so small it contains only seven atoms.
According to the journal Nature Nanotechnology which we get for the spot the positron competition top boffin Michelle Simmons, said the achievement marked the first time scientists had been able to dictate the placement and behaviour of single atoms within a transistor.
While she stroked a white cat she said that she “controlled nature at an atomic scale” so tremble with fear tiny mortals.
Professor Simmons, director of the University of New South Wales centre of excellence for quantum computer technology, said devices made at this scale would allow more complex computations at exponentially greater speeds.
This would also improve database searching and eventually lead to “100 percent secure communication”.
This single-crystal dot, Professor Simmons said, was proof that it was possible to build a quantum computer in silicon. A quantum computer relies on an infinite number of monkeys hitting typewriter keys in alternative dimensions and then telexing the result to a cat which may, or may not be alive. It is supposed to be the cutting edge in computing.
Using Simmons’ system, the atoms of the quantum dot are embedded in one silicon crystal. So far people have been working out how to make such computers with more interesting materials, but Simmons chose silicon because of its longer lifespan and because it would be compatible with existing technology.
“All our computers contain silicon chips,” she said. “Building transistors at the atomic scale means that anything electrical like computers and mobile phones will get smaller and faster while their functionality increases dramatically.”