Babbage nanomachine promises low-energy computing

NOT only did Charles Babbage lay the foundations for the computer revolution, his designs for mechanical computers also provide a blueprint for energy efficiency. So say Raj Mohanty of Boston University and his colleagues, who have created a nanoscale mechanical logic gate that could form the basis of tiny mechanical computers. “The mechanical logic gate is slower than its traditional equivalent, but loses far less energy” The gate consists of a strip of silicon 300 nanometres wide sitting between two chunks of silicon. Applying a voltage between one chunk and the strip causes the strip to vibrate,
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