Technology.am (Dec 16, 2009) — Taiwan has developed tiny microchips that could show the way to lighter and cheaper laptops or mobile phones, researchers and observers said Wednesday.
State-backed National Nano Device Laboratories in northern Hsinchu city said it had succeeded in packing additional transistors into smaller chip space than anybody else so far.
“Electronic gadgets like cellphones and laptops could be converted into smaller, lighter and cheaper with this technology,” Yang Fu-liang, the lab’s chief, told AFP.
Presently, laptops barely ever weigh less than about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) but the latest progress could see notebook computers weighing as little as 500 grams.
“It’s certainly the most highly developed 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 among transistors on a chip. The lesser the space, the more transistors can be fixed on to the chip.
An average human finger nail is 25 million nanometres long. Researching new technologies at this microscopic level poses frightening challenges to scientists.