Carbon nanotubes are among the new forms of carbon, known as fullerenes, whose discovery helped ignite interest in manipulation of materials at the molecular level, the field known as nanotechnology. Fullerenes consist of carbon atoms arranged in patterns resembling the nodes of the geodesic domes designed by Buckminster Fuller. Nanotubes, which researchers first created in 1991, consist of single- or multiwalled cylinders that can be less than 10 nanometers wide. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

Nantero, a start-up developing memory chips using nanotechnology, and LSI Logic, a leading maker of specialty microchips, are expected to announce today that they have transferred Nantero’s technology to a standard semiconductor production line.

Nantero is creating NRAM, a high-density nonvolatile random access memory chip, which it hopes will replace existing forms of memory. Its technology, using cylindrical molecules of carbon known as nanotubes, will be used on a production line in LSI’s semiconductor factory in Gresham, Ore.

The transition from laboratory to production line took more than nine months, the companies said, adding that considerable work remains to improve the chips.

More here.