Soon, computers can rewire themselves

Soon, computers can rewire themselves

The discovery, they said, could lead to cheaper, smaller and more powerful computers, the BBC reported.

As electronics advance and demands for portability increase, one of the main challenges has been decreasing the size of elementary components.

Technology firms have attempted to address this with a number of innovations, including new ways of building circuit tracks so signals do not suffer damaging interference at ultra small sizes.

But the Northwestern University team, which detailed its work in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, took a different approach.

“It’s becoming more and more challenging to make devices smaller and you need to think of new ways rather than just shrinking things down because you’re reaching a fundamental scientific limit here of how small you can make a device,” said David Walker, one of the researchers.

“Our solution is instead of making things smaller, why don’t we try to make them more versatile — by taking all these hardware components and building them into one.
“Think of this as a Swiss army knife of computer hardware, so to speak, where you package a lot of different things all into one device.”

To achieve this, the team created a new material that consists of a “sea” of small negatively charged particles and larger, positively charged particles, which are “jammed” in place.

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