Hewlett-Packard announced research that could help create chips up to eight times denser than integrated circuits currently being produced, while using less energy.
The technology company said such chips could be built using the same size transistors as used in today's programmable gate array design, meaning they could be built in current fabrication plants with only minor modifications.
The chips in question, field programmable gate arrays, are integrated circuits with programmable logic components and interconnects that can be adapted for specific uses. They are used in a wide range of industries, including communications, automotive and consumer electronics.
The research is featured in the Jan. 24 issue of Nanotechnology, a publication of the British Institute of Physics.
HP's researchers could have a laboratory prototype within the year, the company said.