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Babbage's ideas inspire architecture of nano computers

US researchers say that their latest ideas for nano computing were "inspired by Babbage's ideas", considerably scaled down. Their aim is to produce nano computers for domestic appliances and cars that will reduce the heat created, reduce power consumption and extend battery life using a simple but effective Babbage architecture translated to a miniature scale.

Charles Babbage designed the first automatic calculator and a mechanical computer 150 years ago. His muse was Lady Ada, who is credited with creating the first computer programme.

I'm fond of Babbage because although I do not think he had a tremendous influence on the development of computers, he might have had if he had only been able to get his analytical engine built. He battled to get it running, but the demands on his bank balance were terrific, and the technology available to him was insufficient. (Not long ago one of his engines was built, and worked quite well.)

We have more about Babbage and Lady Ada in the Science Timeline.