Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > MITRE-Harvard Team’s Ultra-tiny Nanocomputer May Point the Way to Further Miniaturization in Industry

Abstract:
An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers from The MITRE Corporation and Harvard University have taken key steps toward ultra-small electronic computer systems that push beyond the imminent end of Moore's Law, which states that the device density and overall processing power for computers will double every two to three years. In a paper that will appear next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they designed and assembled, from the bottom up, a functioning, ultra-tiny control computer that is the densest nanoelectronic system ever built.

MITRE-Harvard Team’s Ultra-tiny Nanocomputer May Point the Way to Further Miniaturization in Industry

McLean, VA | Posted on January 27th, 2014

The ultra-small, ultra-low-power control processor—termed a nanoelectronic finite-state machine or "nanoFSM"—is smaller than a human nerve cell. It is composed of hundreds of nanowire transistors, each of which is a switch about ten-thousand times thinner than a human hair. The nanowire transistors use very little power because they are "nonvolatile." That is, the switches remember whether they are on or off, even when no power is supplied to them.

In the nanoFSM, these nanoswitches are assembled and organized into circuits on several "tiles." Together, the tiles route small electronic signals around the computer, enabling it to perform calculations and process signals that could be used to control tiny systems, such as miniscule medical therapeutic devices, other tiny sensors and actuators, or even insect-sized robots.

In 2011, the MITRE-Harvard team demonstrated a single such tiny tile capable of performing simple logic operations. In their recent collaboration they combined several tiles on a single chip to produce a first-of-its-kind complex, programmable nanocomputer.

"It was a challenge to develop a system architecture and nanocircuit designs that would pack the control functions we wanted into such a very tiny system," according to Shamik Das, chief architect of the nanocomputer, who is also principal engineer and group leader of MITRE's Nanosystems Group. "Once we had those designs, though, our Harvard collaborators did a brilliant job innovating to be able to realize them."

Construction of this nanocomputer was made possible by significant advances in processes that assemble with extreme precision dense arrays of the many nanodevices required. These advances also made it possible to manufacture multiple copies of the nanoFSM, using a groundbreaking approach in which, for the first time, complex nanosystems can be economically assembled from the bottom up in close conformity to a preexisting design. Until now, this could be done using the industry's expensive, top-down lithographic manufacturing methods, but not with bottom-up assembly.

For this reason, the nanoFSM and the means by which it was made represent a step toward extending the very economically important five-decade-long trend in miniaturization according to Moore's Law, which has powered the electronics industry. Because of limitations on its conventional lithographic fabrication methods and on conventional transistors, many industry experts have suggested that the Moore's Law trend soon may come to an end. Some assert that this might occur in as little as five years and have negative economic consequences, unless there are innovations in both device and fabrication technologies, such as those demonstrated by the nanoFSM.

James Ellenbogen, chief scientist for Nanotechnology and Emerging Technologies at MITRE, said, "The nanoFSM and the new methods that were invented to build it are not the whole answer for the industry. However, I believe that they do incorporate important steps forward in two of the key areas the electronics industry has been focused upon in order to extend Moore's Law."

####

About The MITRE Corporation
The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. Our centers support our sponsors with scientific research and analysis, development and acquisition, and systems engineering and integration. We also have an independent research program that explores new and expanded uses of technologies to meet our sponsors’ needs. Our principal locations are in Bedford, Mass., and McLean, Va.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:


Copyright © The MITRE Corporation

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

The technical paper appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of January 27. An abstract will be available online at:

Related News Press

News and information

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

European & Korean Project To Demo World’s First 5G Platform During Winter Games February 15th, 2018

Chip Technology

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

Liquid crystal molecules form nano rings: Quantized self-assembly enables design of materials with novel properties February 7th, 2018

Nanometrics Selected for Fab-Wide Process Control Metrology by Domestic China 3D-NAND Manufacturer: Latest Fab Win Includes Comprehensive Suite for Substrate, Thin Film and Critical Dimension Metrology February 7th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

Vanadium dioxyde: A revolutionary material for tomorrow's electronics: Phase-chance switch can now be performed at higher temperatures February 5th, 2018

Measuring the temperature of two-dimensional materials at the atomic level February 3rd, 2018

Viewing atomic structures of dopant atoms in 3-D relating to electrical activity in a semiconductor December 28th, 2017

Discoveries

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing: Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices February 14th, 2018

Understanding brain functions using upconversion nanoparticles: Researchers can now send light deep into the brain to study neural activities February 14th, 2018

Announcements

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

European & Korean Project To Demo World’s First 5G Platform During Winter Games February 15th, 2018

Industrial

Ultra-efficient removal of carbon monoxide using gold nanoparticles on a molecular support: New method and mechanism for state-of-the-art gas purification February 9th, 2018

A simple new approach to plastic solar cells: Osaka University researchers intelligently design new highly efficient organic solar cells based on amorphous electronic materials with potential for easy printing January 28th, 2018

Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation January 23rd, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Research partnerships

Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing: Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices February 14th, 2018

Understanding brain functions using upconversion nanoparticles: Researchers can now send light deep into the brain to study neural activities February 14th, 2018

Vanadium dioxyde: A revolutionary material for tomorrow's electronics: Phase-chance switch can now be performed at higher temperatures February 5th, 2018

Nanowire LED Innovator Aledia Announces €30 ($36M) Million Series-C Financing: Intel Capital Joins Existing Investors to Commercialize Certain Nanowire-LED Technologies for Mobile Displays January 29th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project