IBM Taps DNA Research To Design Next-Gen Chips

Push aside your political feelings on stem-cell research; any halfway respectable PC enthusiast will definitely be giving IBM the thumbs-up here. The wacky minds over at IBM, which have already proven that they never, ever stop ticking, have apparently determined that the next great generation of microprocessors will have quite a lot in common with human DNA. And so long as those chips push Quake IV along with ease, we can't help but be okay with that.

Artificial DNA nanostructures, which are called DNA origami within the lairs at IBM, could one day provide an inexpensive infrastructure which tiny microchips could be built upon. The design is based on research within the company, which is being used to cut costs and find innovative ways to product new high-power chips. IBM research manager Spike Narayan noted that this finding is the "first demonstration of using biological molecules to help with processing in the semiconductor industry," and we can't help but believe him. He also explained the process as such:

"Basically, this is telling us that biological structures like DNA actually offer some very reproducible, repetitive kinds of patterns that we can actually leverage in semiconductor processes. The tinier the chip, the more expensive the equipment. If the DNA origami process scales to production-level, manufacturers could trade hundreds of millions of dollars in complex tools for less than a million dollars of polymers, DNA solutions, and heating implements. The savings across many fronts could add up significantly."

Of course, this concept is at least a decade away from implementation, with "years" of testing still to be done. Until then, it looks like silicon will continue to carve out our wallets, but we're certainly setting a date with destiny in 2019. Don't forget us about us, IBM!