IBM is said to be looking at DNA as the model for the next generation of microchips. The technology giant said that it's looking at various biological molecules to help with processing speeds, and that DNA is particularly promising.

A paper published in the scientific journal "Nature Nanotechnology" explained that the nanostructures contained in DNA could provide a framework to build chips on. "This is the first demonstration of using biological molecules to help with processing in the semiconductor industry", said IBM's research manager Spike Narayan.

"Basically, this is telling us that biological structures like DNA actually offer some very reproducible, repetitive kinds of patterns that we can actually leverage in semiconductor processes. The savings across many fronts could add up significantly".

However, Narayan warns that new processors based on this technology are at least ten years away, and that the technique still needs considerable experimentation and testing.