It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a flying lens!

A so-called flying lens could be the key to developing the next-gen, ultra-tiny transistors and optical drive technology. The new approach employs a metal arm with a tiny lens the literally flies above a chip’s surface which happens to be the equivalent of a 747 flying two millimeters above the ground but offers so much potential. 

Professor Zhang explains an overview of the process, stating, “Utilizing this plasmonic nanolithography, we will be able to make current microprocessors more than 10 times smaller, but far more powerful.  This technology could also lead to ultra-high density disks that can hold 10 to 100 times more data than disks today.”

If the research matures to production, expect commercial use to be within three to five years.