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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Experts to develop future gadgets
Steve Jobs with Apple iPhone, AP
The work will help develop new technology similar to the iPhone
Researchers at a Scottish university have been given 1.2m to develop the next generation of electronic gadgets similar to the iPhone and PS3.

Glasgow University experts said the cash would be used to develop electronic components which are almost molecular in size.

The move would make future gadgets both faster and smarter.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) awarded the funding grant.

Based at Glasgow University, the Glasgow Device Modelling Group (GDMG) develop tools and techniques to design the transistors that will power future generation electronic devices.

The platform grant will allow us to develop models of the next generation atomic-scale transistors, which will be 10 times smaller than their present counterpart
Professor Asen Asenov

However, as the electronics industry is developing smaller and faster transistors their behaviour is becoming more unpredictable and their integration in silicon chips more difficult.

Transistors are at the heart of all integrated circuits enabling the increased capabilities of mobile phones, computers, mp3 players and games consoles.

Professor Asen Asenov said: "As consumer demands increase it is vital that the semiconductor industry can increase the number of transistors on silicon chips so as to increase the speed and the functionality of the chips.

"The difficulty facing the electronics industry is that as the transistors are reaching almost molecular dimensions, the more unpredictable they are becoming.

"This means it is more difficult to design the future billion transistor chips which will remain stable and reliable enough to be used in consumer products.

"The platform grant will allow us to develop models of the next generation atomic-scale transistors, which will be 10-times smaller than their present counterpart, and to learn how to integrate a hundred-times more of them into the chips that will make the gadgets of the future faster and smarter."

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