The practicality of any new technology like this will come down to how do design and manufacture it in volume production. But you have to keep pushing the envelope many years in advance to give time for the practical issues to work themselves out.
It is hard to believe a laptop hard drive can contain an STM array with such a precision. What I heard is that the whole purpose of this group at Almaden is to showcase how cool IBM is. None of their previous work, such as writing "IBM" using gold atoms on silicon, has turned into real world product.
Moore's Law isn't a law, it is a performance challenge - like the 4 minute (running) mile. Because computing devices are so ubiquitous in our world, there is a great economic incentive to continue shrinking physical dimensions and improving performance. That determination results in unexpected breakthroughs and new ways of looking at old solutions which continue the innovation. After the physical limits within devices are met, will the Internet cloud be utilized to continue shrinking devices and increasing their performance?
This is really cool research. I'm sure there will be plenty of challenges as they move from research to product development, but they will enjoy every minute. Thanks for letting us in to see what is going on.
What interesting work is done at the Almaden research center!
Together with the Higgs particle news I think this years have been very important for physics and in this particular, for the semiconductor industry.
Looks like we're preparing for when we hit the Moores curve end however, even an atom is limited in size... I wonder what would be next after that? I wonder where will information be stored once it no longer fits our universe? will it be stored in parallel dimensions (string theory)?
The research gem of the semiconductor industry keeps forging ahead to lead electronics into a new era on the microscopic level. There should be more research done cooperatively for the sake of getting to end goals faster. There are many surprises awaiting in the bottom-up approach for building nano devices and searching for those gems will be easier if more scientists and engineers pool their resources.