Making Nanocircuits Cheaper, Faster, Smaller

Loraine Lawson

Awhile back, I wrote about research into printing computer chips.


Hewlett-Packard did one better. It's developed a cheaper method of creating smaller nanocircuits - which are used in chips - by basically stamping them.


Currently, it costs about $1 million for the photolithography systems used to create nanocircuits. This system, called nanoimprint lithography (NIL), will cost about 10 times less, in part because it uses a common tool - a mask aligner - in a nanoprinting machine. HP's NIL technology can stamp out patterns of wires that are less than 50 atoms wide substrate. That's one-third the size of today's commercial circuits.


Once the nanoimprint is designed, you'll be able to stamp out nanocircuits just as easily as we now manufacture CDs, according to HP.


It took HP 12 years of research to develop NIL. It announced this week that it will license the technology to Nanolithosolutions, a start-up founded by a UCLA professor and a former HP Labs worker.


My question is: Could this new manufacturing method prove useful in overcoming the current manufacturing issues that currently could cap Moore's Law?

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