Today the smallest features on most computer chips are about 65 nm in size, but the first 45-nm chips have begun rolling off production lines, and 32-nm chips have been made in the laboratory.
The smaller the etching size the faster the chip, the more energy efficient the chip, and the cheaper it is to make the chip. At 25 nm, however, we are fast approaching a point where we cannot go any smaller due to the fundamental laws of physics. For many years now the trend therefore has been to focus not only on smaller etching sizes, but also to focus on parallelizing computation through multicore chips as highlighted in this post.
Using interference patterns, Heilmann’s team has created lines just 25 nanometers in width using light with a wavelength of 351 nm.