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Private Enterprise- To mars

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Author Topic: Private Enterprise- To mars  (Read 9278 times)
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« Reply #120 on: September 09, 2007, 03:48:06 pm »

Think, Quantum Computer
Hybrid Molecular Electronics Example:
In the near term, there are myriad companies who are leveraging the power of organic self-assembly (bottom up) and the market interface advantages of top down design. The top down substrate constrains the domain of self-assembly.

Based in Denver, ZettaCore builds molecular memories from energetically elegant molecules that are similar to chlorophyll. ZettaCore's synthetic organic porphyrin molecule self-assembles on exposed silicon. These molecules, called multiporphyrin nanostructures, can be oxidized and reduced (electrons removed or replaced) in a way that is stable, reproducible, and reversible. In this way, the molecules can be used as a reliable storage medium for electronic devices. Furthermore, the molecules can be engineered to store multiple bits of information and to maintain that information for relatively long periods of time before needing to be refreshed.

Fig. 1
Recall the water drop to transistor count comparison, and realize that these multiporphyrins have already demonstrated up to eight stable digital states per molecule.

The technology has future potential to scale to 3D circuits with minimal power dissipation, but initially it will enhance the weakest element of an otherwise standard 2D memory chip. The ZettaCore memory chip looks like a standard memory chip to the end customer; nobody needs to know that it has “nano inside.” The I/O pads, sense amps, row decoders and wiring interconnect are produced with a standard semiconductor process. As a final manufacturing step, the molecules are splashed on the wafer where they self-assemble in the pre-defined regions of exposed metal.

Fig. 2

From a business perspective, the hybrid product design allows an immediate market entry because the memory chip defines a standard product feature set, and the molecular electronics manufacturing process need not change any of the prior manufacturing steps. The inter-dependencies with the standard silicon manufacturing steps are also avoided given this late coupling; the fab can process wafers as they do now before spin coating the molecules. In contrast, new materials for gate oxides or metal interconnects can have a number of effects on other processing steps that need to be tested, which introduces delay (as was seen with copper interconnect).

For these reasons, ZettaCore is currently in the lead in the commercialization of molecular electronics, with a working megabit chip, technology tested to a trillion read/write cycles, and manufacturing partners. In a symbolic nod to the future, Intel co-founder Les Vadasz (badge #3), has just joined the Board of Directors of ZettaCore. He was formerly the design manager for the world's first DRAM, EPROM and microprocessor.

Generalizing from the ZettaCore experience, the early revenue in molecular electronics will likely come from simple 1D structures such as chemical sensors and self-assembled 2D arrays on standard substrates, such as memory chips, sensor arrays, displays, CCDs for cameras and solar array assembly.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 09:57:11 pm by HereForNow » Report Spam   Logged

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