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February 13th, 2008
In anticipation of Moore's Law becoming irrelevant in the next 10 to 20 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) wants funding for research that could lead to a replacement for current silicon technology.
The NSF last week requested US$20 million from the U.S. government for fiscal 2009 to start the "Science and Engineering Beyond Moore's Law" effort, which would fund academic research on technologies, including carbon nanotubes, quantum computing and massively multicore computers, that could improve and replace current transistor technology.
Moore's Law states that the number of transistors that can be placed on silicon, and its attendant computational capability, doubles every 18 months.
Human and economic progress in the U.S. over the past 20 years has depended on an increasing ability to do information processing and computing, said Michael Foster, division director of computing and communication foundations at NSF. "If the current technological basis of that ends, we've got to find some way to replace it or we're going to stop moving forward."
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