Researchers at a European research facility called the Nanoscience and Picotechnology Group are working on computing at a molecular level. We’re talking a handful of atoms here– way, way smaller than even nanotechnology.

A snippet from the article I just read:

The team has managed to design a simple logic gate with 30 atoms that perform the same task as 14 transistors while also exploring the architecture, technology and chemistry needed to achieve computing inside a single molecule and to interconnect molecules. They are focusing on two architectures: one that mimics the classical design of a logic gate but in atomic form, and another process that relies on changes to the molecule’s conformation to carry out the logic gate inputs and quantum mechanics to perform the computation.

Holy cow. Amazing stuff. The research is pretty fundamental right now– nothing that’s going to become a commercial product for several years at least– but just the fact that they can potentially build CPUs a millionth (or less) the size of current semiconductor chips could mean that in a decade we may literally have computers more powerful than today’s supercomputers in a box the size of, say, a grain of sand.