hasu notes that scientists at the National Institute for Materials Science at Tsukuba in Japan have created a device, consisting of 17 duroquinone molecules on a gold surface, that can in theory encode 4.3 billion outcomes. The "device" does not constitute a practical computer, since it requires both a scanning tunneling microscope and operation near absolute zero. A single duroquinone is surrounded by sixteen others, and weak chemical bonds allow a pulse to the central molecule to shift all seventeen molecules in a variety of ways. Each duroquinone has four different "settings," so a single pulse can have 4^16 possible outcomes. As a demonstration the researchers docked 8 other nano-devices to their 17-molecule computer. It is unclear how well they have characterized the inputs that result in 4.3 billion different outputs. They are working on a 3D design that would have 1,024 duroquinone molecules surrounding a central one.
Attend or create a Slashdot 20th anniversary party! DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test. ×