Researchers Are Looking to Biology to Create the Next Generation of Computers

Computing is advancing at such a rate that researchers are looking to nature to tackle the new age of computing.

Remember Moore's Law from school? In short, Moore's law centers around the observation that the number of transistors in dense integrated circuits doubles about every two years.

Nevertheless, it seems that this law is under debate. The unprecedented rate at which computing has advanced in the last decade has caused some experts to believe that Moore's Law may no longer apply. 

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Why is that? Researchers believe the next-generation of computing devices will require features smaller than 10 nanometers. This, in turn, would drive an unsustainable increase in fabrication costs. However, not all hope is lost. Purdue University researchers believe nature may have the answer. 

Biomimicry in Computers

Nature is impressive. It has the ability to create features at sub-10nm consistently. However, this biological occurrence is not really applicable to the world of computing. Nevertheless, Purdue University has found a way to transform structures that occur naturally in cell membranes to create other architectures that are more applicable to computing. 

According to Shelley Claridge, a faculty member in chemistry and biomedical engineering at Purdue, "Biology has an amazing tool kit for embedding chemical information in a surface. "What we're finding is that these instructions can become even more powerful in nonbiological settings, where water is scarce."  

Published in the scientific journal Chem, the team of researchers from Purdue has found that stripes of lipids are able to unpack and order flexible gold nanowires with diameters of just 2 nm which covers an area many millions of molecules in the template surface. 

Claridge continues by saying "The real surprise was the importance of water. Your body is mostly water, so the molecules in your cell membranes depend on it to function. Even after we transform the membrane structure in a way that's very nonbiological and dry it out, these molecules can pull enough water out of dry winter air to do their job"

This exciting new research is part of Purdue's Giant Leaps celebration. The university is currently celebrating the global advancements in sustainability as part of Purdue's 150th anniversary. The procedure is designed to show the school as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.  

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