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IBM Hardware

IBM Creates World's Smallest 3-D Map 90

schliz writes "IBM scientists have created the smallest 3-D map of the earth, so small that 1,000 maps could fit on a grain of salt (YouTube video from IBM). The 500K-pixel map was created in 2 minutes 23 seconds. Using a tiny, heated silicon tip, the technique reached a resolution of 15nm — comparable to the 10nm achievable by the more complex electron beam lithography. The researchers believe that smaller resolutions are feasible. Potential applications range from fast prototyping for CMOS nanoelectronics to fabricating shape-matching templates for self-assembling nano-rods or nano-tubes, IBM says. The researchers also produced a billion-to-one scale model of the Matterhorn." This is very much a laboratory technique at the moment, at least five years from commercial use.
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IBM Creates World's Smallest 3-D Map

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  • Microcosm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @09:21AM (#31954212)

    Perhaps the Earth we live on is in actuality someone's really tiny 3D map.

  • by Locklin ( 1074657 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @11:00AM (#31955564) Homepage

    This could have some neat applications. You can encode a large amount of information (like a detailed map of the world) in something the size of a marble and read it without power using an optical microscope. If done well, this could have applications for things from a modern rosetta stone to providing reference material for schools in places without electricity.

  • by ProdigyPuNk ( 614140 ) on Friday April 23, 2010 @11:13AM (#31955772) Journal
    I'll shoot. It's one thing to move one or two "pixels" in this way. That's what a lot of the people did that you are referring to. It's quite another thing to actually DO something with the technology. Also, IBM will continue to improve this, and sooner or later will find an application worth using it on. So while they might not be kickstarting much in the way of science, science NEEDS bigger companies like this to push new technologies down the pipeline.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.