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Back to nature: Want to increase the memory on your computer? Go to the poplar tree

Researchers from the Hebrew University produced tiny protein molecules from the poplar tree that are suitable for use as computer memory devices

Prof. Danny Porat
Prof. Danny Porat
"A 10-year-old computer in good condition" - we probably won't be able to find such an ad on the 2nd hand website. The technological race is leaving the old computers behind. During the last decades there is a trend of doubling the number of transistors (the components that perform logical operations) on the computer processor with each passing year. This trend describes the rate of miniaturization and compression of the transistors on the surface of the processor. As a result, the production process becomes more complex and expensive every year. Now, researchers from the Hebrew University have succeeded in finding a new method to significantly reduce the costs of miniaturization and increase the memory space used by using a protein extracted from the poplar tree.

The current method for manufacturing transistors is based on a very expensive technology that requires great precision but is physically limited. Prof. Danny Porat and research student Yizhar Medulsi from the Institute of Chemistry of the Hebrew University were able to demonstrate the use of a unit that combines the memory capacity of a computer with the ability to perform a logical operation in a tiny particle and in a stable manner. The system they developed has the potential to integrate into a dense memory array in computer chips and thus increase the memory space used in memory devices. "The meaning is that the computer's memory will be a thousand times denser," says Prof. Porat. "If we build an array of units of this type, it will be possible to insert more memory in a given area."

In a study recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers used proteins with a diameter of 10 nanometers that were developed and adapted to function as memory and calculation units in the laboratory of Prof. Oded Shusiov as part of the doctoral thesis of Dr. Arnon Hyman from the Robert H. Faculty of Food and Environmental Agriculture. Smith of the Hebrew University. These proteins exist naturally in poplar trees and are exceptionally resistant to extreme environmental conditions.

For the purpose of building nanoelectronic devices, the proteins underwent a deliberate mutation that allows them to stick to different surfaces and connect a nano particle inside them. Experiments conducted by the researchers in the laboratory proved that the production of ordered arrays of proteins of this type is possible. "The use of these proteins has advantages over the memory devices that are currently used in computer processors" says Prof. Shusiov. "The main advantage of the protein molecules is their tiny size, considerably smaller than the size of the memory devices in use today and their ability to self-organize into neat arrays."

4 תגובות

  1. I meant Danny Porat. In the photo is written Dr. And in the text below Prof. Just a note…

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