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Massively Parallel Computer Built From Single Layer of Molecules 46

djeps sends in this excerpt from the Physics arXiv Blog: "Japanese scientists have built a cellular automaton from individual molecules that carries out huge numbers of calculations in parallel. ... At the heart of their experiment is a ring-like molecule called 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-p-benzoquinone, or DDQ. This has an unusual property: it can exist in four different conducting states, depending on the location of trapped electrons around the ring. What's more, it's possible to switch the molecule from one to state to another by zapping it with voltages of various different strengths using the tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope. It's even possible to bias the possible states that can form by placing the molecule in an electric field. Place two DDQ molecules next to each other and it's possible to make them connect. ... When one molecule changes its state, the change in configuration ripples from one molecule to the next, forming and reforming circuits as it travels."
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Massively Parallel Computer Built From Single Layer of Molecules

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  • by arnoldo.j.nunez ( 1300907 ) on Friday October 28, 2011 @01:04PM (#37870666)
    I research in the related field of memristors. While I agree with skepticism, someone has to first demonstrate that the technology can work. There are typically grants handed out by the government (e.g. SBIR) that spurs interest in first showing that it works over a half a year period, in second developing that idea into more production-worthy product over two or so years, and in finally taking the training wheels off to let people find their own funding to start a small business around a relatively new technology.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"