IBM Chips Make Themselves, Find Sarah Connor

IBM has pioneered a new method to make chips that essentially assemble themselves into a usable framework. It should yield a savings in power consumption and a goose in speed.

The technique works by coating a silicon wafer with a layer of a special polymer that when baked, naturally forms trillions of uniformly tiny holes just 20 nanometers, or millionth of a millimeter, across.

The resulting pattern is used to create the copper wiring on top of a chip and the insulating gaps that let electricity flow smoothly. A similar process is seen in nature during the formation of snowflakes, tooth enamel and seashells, IBM said.

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