Hand-held supercomputers 'on way'

Experts at a Scottish university say they have paved the way for the creation of tiny supercomputers which could fit in the palm of the hand. Engineers at the University of Edinburgh studied the behaviour of wires which were 1,000 times thinner than human hair. They then created a tool which could help develop tiny microchips. German and Italian experts also worked on the project. Their findings will be published in the journal Science.

It is hoped that the discovery will eventually lead to medical advances, as well as hand-held PCs and mobile phones as powerful as laptops becoming available on the high street. To create a powerful computer the size of a mobile phone, much smaller microchips with thinner wires are needed. Dr Michael Zaiser, of Edinburgh's school of engineering and electronics, said: "What we found is when we made these wires smaller and smaller they started to behave in a very funny way." The experts in Edinburgh have created a computer programme(sic) which allows engineers to predict when these problems might arise with the wires - and how to avoid them.

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News source: BBC News

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old news is old, the quantum arena etc etc yeah heard it all a few years ago. Mind you im glad they can finally work with it.

When you compare the amount of computing power in a mobile phone today with the amount of computing power in supercomputers from the 1970's, then technically we already do have hand-held supercomputers.

Assuming this articles is anything other than fluff, even if it does lead to faster hand-held devices, someone will still fill a room with the technology to create a new supercomputer and thus voiding the "hand-held supercomputer" dream.

this is pure mainstream bs once again, true or not.
see how vague it is and they even say something about how weird these things behave when going smaller and smaller
wtf ?? Of course I could assume what he meant, but he didn't even give a clue.

There's a little more involved in a modern IC than just the interconnects (There are a few hundred million transistors you have to build as well.)

The article didn't even say what the hell they were researching. Nano wires? I'm going to assume carbon nanotubes, then? How does a transistor made out of CNT behave? Can we dope them to get the kind of properties we need, or will that prevent the NT from forming? Details, people!

What we found is when we made these wires smaller and smaller they started to behave in a very funny way.

What most people don't understand is that electrons don't travel inside a wire, but through a field generated around the outside of that wire. When you make a wire small enough, you start experiencing quantum effects – like electrons spontaneously disappearing from one wire and simultaneously appearing in a neighboring one. This can obviously screw with your system!

If these guys can predict and control this kind of quantum behavior, they're on their way to a successful implementation of their ideas. Sounds like a really tough nut to crack, though, if you ask me.