News of the WeekELECTRONICS

Organic Molecule Rewires Chip Design

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Science  16 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5426, pp. 313-315
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5426.313

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A team of researchers has developed a revolutionary--and potentially cheap--way to sidestep the increasing demands for precision as the transistors and other circuitry on computer chips get ever smaller: a strategy for laying down millions of wires and switches in a simple grid, then electronically configuring the best connections into circuits. The network that they describe on page 391 contains just four switches and hefty wires that would never pass muster in today's chips, but if the approach pans out, it could have a tremendous impact on the semiconductor market.