updated 02:05 pm EDT, Fri October 24, 2008
Plasmonic Recording Tech
Researchers at the University of California's Berkeley campus today said they have discovered a new technique that may result in much smaller electronics as well as optical storage. By using an extremely small writing arm that depends on lenses with plasmons, or the results of quantum plasma oscillations, the new technology can etch data much more closely spaced together than current hardware while using a process similar to a hard drive; 80 nanometer circuits are possible today but can already shrink down to five nanometers depending on the process.
The process could result in processors and other circuitry that could be a tenth the size of current chips and would be faster as a result. Optical storage would also be improved by permitting more pits on a given disc. Both should also be faster in producing their end products, UC Berkeley says: as the approach is constant and can involve multiple parallel lenses, each pass can be made more quickly and include more at once.
The university anticipates a relatively short turnaround for its research and hopes for full-scale production within three to five years. [via DailyTech]