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A*STAR teams with EU orgs on molecular chips

Posted: 23 Nov 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:molecular? processors? microchips?

The Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research is teaming up with ten groups from the European Union to research and develop molecular-sized processors.

Dubbed the Atomic Scale and Single Molecule Logic Gate Technologies (ATMOL), the R&D effort will establish a process for making a complete molecular chip. Such chips mean that computing power could be increased significantly but take up only a small fraction of the space that is required by today's chips.

The fabrication process uses three unique ultra high vacuum (UHV) atomic scale interconnection machines to build the chip atom-by-atom. These machines physically move atoms into place one at a time at cryogenic temperatures. One of these machines is located in A*STAR's IMRE.

"IMRE holds the only patent in the world for making solid interconnections and packaging of a molecular chip", explained Christian Joachim, project leader, ATMOL, about why IMRE was chosen as a partner in the project.

"The UHV interconnection machine at IMRE is the only one in the entire project that can study the performance of a single molecule logic gate and surface atom circuit logic gate at the moment", added Joachim, who is the head of molecular nanoscience and picotechnology at France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Joachim is also a visiting investigator at IMRE, with his team at IMRE being the first to build a controllable molecular gear.

According to David Guedj, the European officer following ATMOL for the European Commission, "ATMOL is the flagship project coming out of the recent Call for Proposals on Molecular Scale Devices and Systems". It was launched by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET-Proactive) part of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) programme of the European Commission. FET-Proactive supports transformational, long-term collaborative frontier research in Europe, with a view to develop scientific excellence and technological innovation.

The project commences on 1 January 2011.

- Julien Happich
EE Times Europe

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