Taiwan unveils super-tiny microchip

Taiwan unveils super-tiny microchip
AFP
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First Published: Wed, Dec 16 2009. 06 32 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Dec 16 2009. 06 32 PM IST
Taipei: Taiwan has developed tiny microchips that could lead to lighter and cheaper laptops or mobile phones, researchers and observers said on Wednesday.
State-backed National Nano Device Laboratories in northern Hsinchu city said it had succeeded in packing more transistors into smaller chip space than anyone else so far.
“Electronic gadgets like cell-phones and laptops could become smaller, lighter and cheaper with this technology,” Yang Fu-liang, the lab’s chief, told AFP.
Currently, laptops seldom weigh less than about 1.5 kilogrammes but the latest development could see notebook computers weighing as little as 500 grams.
“It’s indeed the most advanced chip technology ever,” said Nobunaga Chai, an analyst at Digitimes, a Taipei-based industry publication.
The field Yang and his team are working on is called 16-nanometre technology, referring to the space between transistors on a chip. The smaller the space, the more transistors can be fitted on to the chip.
An average human finger nail is 25 million nanometres long. Researching new technologies at this microscopic level poses formidable challenges to scientists.
“Sixteen nanometres used to be considered the final frontier,” said Yang.
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First Published: Wed, Dec 16 2009. 06 32 PM IST