Australian researchers have created world's smallest transistors. The seven atom transistor was crafted by hand using an electron microscope, the transistor isn't anywhere near ready for commercialization, but it's seen as an important step towards the creation of quantum computers.
The ultimate goal is to create a transistor composed of a single atom. That’s been achieved in the lab, but so-called quantum computers are probably decades away from reality.
The Aussie transistor isn’t anywhere near ready for commercialization yet, either — the demo application was crafted by hand using an electron microscope to gently move the phosphorus atoms from which it was constructed onto a silicon surface — but it has strong potential if a mass-production scheme can be worked out. A chip created entirely from such miniature components could conceivably be 100 times as powerful as today’s microchips.