Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology And Research, A*STAR, will be holding its first AtMol (Atomic Scale and Single Molecule Logic Gate Technologies) workshop where experts will discuss how to make molecule-sized computer chips. At the moment such small circuits are not needed but it is predicted that within 10-15 years conventional means of production will hit a barrier and further miniaturization will be impossible. Instead of having to rush to find a new production method at that time, researchers are looking now and will hopefully have the new technique ready in time (E-beam Lithography: From Prototyping to Mass Production describes another method). The challenge with constructing molecular computer chips is their size. At such a small scale ultra high-precision tools of the highest quality must be used. It has been accomplished though, as a team from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, a part of A*STAR, has previously constructed the smallest digital logic gate with a single molecule.
The hope is to construct a prototype molecular processor in four years.