John Clark (
Mon, 1 Nov 1999 10:12:54 -0500

According to today's New York Times several important advances will be announced in the scientific journals in the next few weeks. A long time ago, way back in July, a molecular switch was made for the first time, however it had limited usefulness because it could only switch once. In about 2 weeks a Yale chemist, Mark Reed, will publish an article in Science describing a molecular switch that can be turned on and off indefinitely . Of course you'd still have to wire all those switches together to make a computer, but in a separate development Hewlett Packard found a easy way to make a grid of conductive lines 10 atoms wide and 50 atoms apart. Reed must be a busy man, he also said he will make an announcement on December 6 at the International Electron Device conference in Washington about using his molecular switches for RAM memory, he won't release details about his memory device until then.

The NYT quotes a bunch of experts about the very recent developments, they said some interesting stuff:

"We're on the scent, and we know the fox is out there."

"It feels like we're a year before the invention of the transistor."

"In two to five years you will begin to see functioning circuits which
are of recognizable utility."

"If you can make computers as easily as photographic film a
lot of companies are going to be wondering what they're doing with their 15 billion dollar fabrication plants".

One remark would certainly catch Eliezer's eye, Reed said:

"This should scare the pants off anyone working in silicon.
It will be dirt cheap and it will create a discontinuity."

John K Clark