As technology advances and improves, the momentum to make devices as small as possible increases. We see it all around us, from the evolution of super computers to micro PCs, the world has focused on reducing size as much as possible in order to improve density and therefore efficiency.
What is nanoinformatics?
As the name suggests, nanoinformatics refers to computer processes and devices that are really small (the prefix nano- means very small). Specifically and in our times, it is a term that is used to describe the manipulation, processing and representation of data by computers smaller than a micrometer; Nanocomputing devices are made up of solid-state transistors 100 nanometers or less in length.
Let’s analyze this. Nanoinformatics can be divided into two words: “nano” and “computer science”. Computing is the use of a computer (hardware and software) to process data and perform algorithmic processes; nano comes from the word nanometer in this case, and like the centimeter and the meter, the nanometer is a unit of measure of length and corresponds to one billionth of a meter.
How big is a nanometer?
To say that a nanometer is a billionth of a meter may be too abstract to be understood correctly, so let’s put some examples from the everyday world to put this unit of measurement in perspective:
- A strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter.
- A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick.
- There are 25,400,000 nanometers in an inch.
- A nanometer is as long as your fingernail grows in a second.
- A single atom of gold is about a third of a nanometer in diameter.
- On a comparative scale, if the diameter of a marble was one nanometer, the diameter of the earth would be one meter.
- A human hair is approximately 75 microns or 75,000 nanometers in diameter.
As you can see, when we talk about chips made with 3nm transistors, we are practically talking about the atomic scale.
Nanotechnology and nano-computers
Nanotechnology is the use of extremely small things, at the atomic or molecular scale, to produce systems, structures, and devices. This is the study (science and engineering) of matter whose dimensions are between one hundred and one hundred nanometers.
A nanocomputer is a computer with circuits so extremely small that they can only be seen with a microscope. Our current devices are made of semiconductors less than a hundred nanometers in length, and nanocomputers actually work by storing data in quantum dots or spins.
Like most computers, nanocomputers are made up of chips and the only difference is that they are considerably smaller than the microchips we are used to. Computer chips are made of a semiconductor called silicon, as you well know.
As the years go by and the quest to create even smaller devices grows, more and more transistors build up in silicon. Modern processors contain billions of transistors interconnected by thin copper wires; Each of the transistors serves as a sort of on-off switch (representing the ones and zeros of the binary system on which PCs operate), sending, receiving and processing information and controlling current through the chip.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of nanocomputing?
As we have explained, nanocomputing refers to computational processes performed by devices reduced between ten and a hundred sizes down to less than 100 nanometers. This reduction increases the functionality of the circuit exponentially up to 10,000 times, and also means that the computing power of the device can be multiplied by up to a million. This leads to lower power consumption, which is why we are talking about much higher efficiency.
Nanocomputers are also much faster than other microcomputers and can perform calculations that others would be unable to perform. Their small footprint is an added bonus, as they can be integrated into smaller, lighter and more portable devices. They also become immune to noise and other disturbances.
While nanoinformatics has some advantages, it is not without drawbacks. The manufacture of devices that operate on the basis of nanotechnology is very complicated and expensive, because reducing the scale of devices to a microscopic level requires a level of technicality and experience that can only be achieved with investments of ‘one million dollars.
Nanoinformatics can also pose a threat to today’s economy. The advent of nanotechnology, like many other new technologies, is bringing about substantial change in many economic fields; At first, nanocomputers would be an expensive and unaffordable luxury, but over time they would become more and more popular and mainstream. This would have a big impact on the market as technologies and companies that do not adapt would be left behind, causing significant economic losses.
The microscopic nature of nano-computers would also be a downside, as they are virtually undetectable. This means that nanocomputers could lead to the advent of microscopic recording devices, capable of secretly recording violations of people’s privacy without any possibility of detection.
Like DNA nanoinformatics, instead of using traditional silicon chips to perform computing processes, quantum bits or qubits are used. A quantum bit is a basic unit in quantum computing, as an alternate version of the classic bit but instead of only being able to store zeros and ones, it has four states, zero, one, zero and one at the same time or neither of the two.
Quantum computing is one in which computational processes depend heavily on the principles of quantum theory, that is, the behavior of energy at the atomic and subatomic levels. While traditional computers use ones and zeros to encode information, quantum computing uses qubits which can exist in multiple states at the same time, as we explained earlier.
Nanoinformatics has nothing to do with quantum computing and, at the same time, it can have a significant influence on it since, of course, being able to use processors of microscopic size can greatly increase the performance of computing. quantum.