Intel and IBM slightly miffed...
Bell Labs, the R&D centre owned by Lucent Technologies, has created the components of the smallest possible processor.
The innovation is a long way ahead of current developments in miniaturisation by rivals IBM and Intel.
According to the scientific journal Nature, Bell Labs has dicovered a method of 'growing' transistors at a molecular level from a chemical soup of carbon, hydrogen and sulphur.
This method should prove cheaper than the conventional process of etching transistor pathways in silicon, because it can use a plastic base.
Bell Labs predicts it could be as long as 10 years before they refine the process into commercial production.
This will provide some small consolation to Intel and IBM, who have currently only managed to produce transistors of 200 and 20 times the size respectively.
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