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Showing posts with label Computing Infographic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Computing Infographic. Show all posts

May 15, 2011

Demise of PC and the Rise Of DNA Computing

Intel's recent unveiling of "3D" transistors could prove to be a game-changing technology for the chip industry, but it's just one of many quiet revolutions the integrated circuit has experienced over the 53 years since its inception. Intel just announced that it has invented a 3D "Tri-Gate" transistor that will allow the company to keep shrinking chips.

Intel says the transistors will use 50 percent less power, conduct more current and provide 37 percent more speed than their 2D counterparts thanks to vertical fins of silicon substrate that stick up through the other layers,

Jack Kilby's 1958 invention killed the vacuum tube and led computer design down a path toward ever-shrinking circuits and inspiring Moore's law, which states that the number of transistors on a microchip will double roughly every two years. The law has proved true thanks to a number of innovations, and may get new life thanks to Intel's Tri-Gate technology, revealed last week.

DNA computing is fundamentally similar to parallel computing in that it takes advantage of the many different molecules of DNA to try many different possibilities at once.

DNA computing also offers much lower power consumption than traditional silicon computers. DNA uses adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as fuel to allow ligation or as a means to heat the strand to cause disassociation.Both strand hybridization and the hydrolysis of the DNA backbone can occur spontaneously, powered by the potential energy stored in DNA. 

Consumption of two ATP molecules releases 1.5 x 10−19 J. Even with a large number of transitions per second using two ATP molecules, power output is still low. For instance, Kahan reports 109 transitions per second with an energy consumption of 10−10 W and similarly Shapiro reports a system producing 7.5 x 1011 outputs in 4000 sec resulting in an energy consumption rate of ~ 10−10 W.

Were it not for Moore's Law, the discoveries that keep it honest, computers would still be hulking behemoths, and the laptops, tablets, and cell phones of today simply wouldn't exist. Thanks to innovation, portable computers have existed since 1981, and they were surprisingly affordable for a first-generation product—the first portable, the Osborne 1, cost less than $2,000 when it debuted.