IBM researchers are planning to leverage biological molecules in semiconductor processes. A paper was published in Nature Nanotechnology that talks about how artificial DNA nanostructures may provide a cheap framework on which to build tiny microchips. This new technique may be ready for mass production within 10 years.
Right now, the tinier the chip, the more expensive the equipment. Narayan said that if the DNA origami process scales to production-level, manufacturers could trade hundreds of millions of dollars in complex tools for less than a million dollars of polymers, DNA solutions, and heating implements.
"The savings across many fronts could add up significantly," he said.