DHAKA: A group of Stanford researchers on September 25 unveiled the first computer built entirely with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) which would open the door to a new generation of digital devices.
“Cedric” is only a basic prototype but could be developed into a machine which is smaller, faster and more efficient than today’s silicon models.
Nanotubes have long been touted as the heir to silicon’s throne, but building a working computer has proven awkward.
The breakthrough by Stanford University engineers is published in Nature.
Cedric is the most complex carbon-based electronic system yet realised.
So is it fast? Not at all. It might have been in 1955.
The computer operates on just one bit of information, and can only count to 32.
Co-author Max Shulaker said, “In human terms, Cedric can count on his hands and sort the alphabet. But he is, in the full sense of the word, a computer.”
He also said: “There is no limit to the tasks it can perform, given enough memory.”
In computing parlance, Cedric is “Turing complete”. In principle, it could be used to solve any computational problem.
It runs a basic operating system which allows it to swap back and forth between two tasks - for instance, counting and sorting numbers.
And unlike previous carbon-based computers, Cedric gets the answer right every time.
BDST: 1635 HRS, SEP 26, 2013
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