||Dr. Ellenbogen will provide an overview of ongoing work and recent achievements in the MITRE Corporation's broadly-based, twenty-year effort in nanotechnology, engineering on the utlra-tiny molecular scale. Recently, as a result of that long-term interdisciplinary effort, a MITRE-Harvard team succeeded in developing the world's first nanoprocessor. This is a prototype electronic computer approximately the size of human cell. It is intended to control other tiny embedded systems, and was designed and built "from the bottom up" using semiconductor nanowires and nanowire transistors. The tiny system takes a major step toward achieving the goal of developing a nanocomputer, a difficult challenge first set forth more than 50 years ago by the late great physicist Richard Feynman. In contrast with the device-oriented focus of most other efforts in nanotechnology R&D, a unique feature of MITRE's R&D efforts in this area is their focus on building entire nanotechnology-enabled systems. This system focus is responsible, to a great degree, for the recent nanoprocessor achievement, as well as others the speaker will describe. These successes include: development of smaller, higher-energy, longer-lived portable power systems; advanced forensic techniques for detecting and tracking contraband; plus improved nano-biotechnologies for the detection and prevention of diseases. MITRE's nanotechnology R&D even has led to the discovery of new laws of physics that provide much simpler, faster approaches to the design and simulation of both nanocircuits and nanostructured materials with unique properties. Taken together, all these advances are likely to have a considerable impact on the development of next-generation information systems for the Government and for the private sector, as well as other types of nanoenabled systems that should directly benefit the lives of millions of people around the world, in planning and guiding a number of key advanced and engineering technology research and development programs.
Dr. James C. Ellenbogen, Chief Scientist, Nanosystems Group and Emerging Technologies, The MITRE Corporation