An anonymous reader writes "Supercomputers small enough to fit into the palm of your hand are only 10 or 15 years away, according to Professor Michael Zaiser, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering and Electronics.
Zaiser has been researching how tiny nanowires — 1000 times thinner than a human hair — behave when manipulated. Apparently such minuscule wires behave differently under pressure, so it has up until now been impossible to arrange them in tiny microprocessors in a production environment. Zaiser says he's figured out how to make them behave uniformly.
These "tamed" nanowires could go inside microprocessors that could, in turn, go inside PCs, laptops, mobile phones or even supercomputers. And the smaller the wires, the smaller the chip can be.
"If things continue to go the way they have been in the past few decades, then it's 10 years... The human brain is very good at working on microprocessor problems, so I think we are close — 10 years, maybe 15," Zaiser said."