Updates to this story
Scientists in Taiwan claim to have developed the world’s smallest microchip, measuring just 9 nanometres across.
This means that on just a 1cm2 chip it will be possible to have 20 times the capacity of a current chip, while storing 1 million pictures or 100 hours of 3D movies.
The primary benefits of the chip are that they will offer greatly reduced power consumption, while providing vastly enhanced memory capacity.
The chip, made by the National-Nano Device Laboratories at National-Applied Research Laboratories, will offer in the region of twenty times the memory storage capacity of memory chips that are currently available while consuming only 200th of the electricity.
“Researchers used to believe that 20 nanometers was the limit for microchip technologies,” said Ho Chia-hua who heads the team behind the project at the state-run National Nano-Device Laboratories.
According to Taipei Times however, an analyst has mentioned that it may be some time before the new technology is ready to be rolled out commercially.
“I’m afraid it will take several years before the advanced technology can be turned into -commercial use,” he said.
Scientists in America have also been trying to produce a smaller chip, by manufacturing semiconductor wafers with lasers
The manufacturing of semiconductor wafers used in all types of electronics involves etching small features onto a wafer with lasers, a process that is ultimately limited by the wavelength of the light itself.