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IBM Creates Ring Oscillator on a Single Nanotube 159

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the mini-milestones dept.
deeptrace writes "IBM has combined CMOS circuitry and a single carbon nanotube to implement a 5 stage ring oscillator. Even though the oscillator runs at just 52 MHz, they expect that it could reach the GHz range with improvements. The frequency of the current oscillator was higher than previous circuits using multiple nanotubes. IBM describes the achievement in the paper "Integrated Logic Circuit Assembled on a Single Carbon Nanotube" to be published this week in the journal Science."
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IBM Creates Ring Oscillator on a Single Nanotube

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  • by schwit1 (797399) on Friday March 24, 2006 @12:30AM (#14985783)
    Some of us are not nano-physicists/EEs, so it's not clear as to what the big deal is.
  • by Firehed (942385) on Friday March 24, 2006 @01:20AM (#14985949) Homepage
    That's the idea of capitalism; people work harder when their purpose is more tangible than the good of mankind's collective knowledge.

    Which is why communism fails. If everyone's the same regardless, there's no incentive to innovate. But that's aside the point.

    Patents aren't evil, in fact there's nothing wrong with them. It's copyrights that are abused. A patent is to protect your work. A copyright is to extort as much money as possible from something that serves absolutely no tangible purpose. But rest assured, it will be patented. My dad co-holds a patent that's used in the process of wafer processing, and it's in fact an extremely simple concept (of course, considering the fact that by age twelve I came up with a solution that increased the accuracy of their heating uniformity data, which was another extremely simple concept, I'd really have to wonder how smart most of the engineers are). Other manufacturers, to my understanding, can pay to license the idea and use the technology- it's not being reserved exclusively for the patent-holder.

  • by irimi_00 (962766) on Friday March 24, 2006 @02:17AM (#14986112)
    Does anyone else get the impression that most people have no idea the potential for nanotech? Or maybe those that do are just schizo and nerdy.
  • Applications. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rrauwl (950498) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:15AM (#14986410) Homepage
    Some people seem to be wondering if this is just showing off, or are there short to medium term applications for this? I think that one of the first, fairly simple applications for this is in the field of gate arrays. FPGA's, or field-programmable gate arrays, are cool devices that emulate strings of logic gates. They can be used in circuit design tasks, emulating loads on networks, and any number of geeky things. FPGA's are often considered the ugly step sister to application-specific integrated circuits, or ASIC's. Why? Because they suck more power and they're slower. People still use FPGA's a lot of the time because they're more flexible, you can change them on the fly. Now imagine an FPGA that's ultra-miniaturized, drawing almost no power, producing very little heat, and operating at amazing speeds. They need to perfect NAND or NOR gates, but once they have one of those, they can replicate them a billion times, and either of those gate types will be able to emulate every other logic gate, when placed in the right order. That's one interesting application, on the pure logic level. So it might be an exciting time, depending on how quickly they can move this out of the lab. I love this stuff.
  • Re:Applications. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:15AM (#14986862)
    They need to perfect NAND or NOR gates, but once they have one of those, they can replicate them a billion times, and either of those gate types will be able to emulate every other logic gate, when placed in the right order.

    I believe one of the big problems is the replication that you're speaking of. From my understanding they don't really have a great idea of how to mass produce predictably shaped nanotubes yet. http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8888 [newscientist.com] has a little bit of info on this too.

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"