Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > MITRE-Harvard Teamís 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 Teamís 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 processorótermed a nanoelectronic finite-state machine or "nanoFSM"óis 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 sponsorsí 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

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. to Publish PCAOB Audited Financials July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Chip Technology

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Nanometrics Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results July 30th, 2014

A*STAR and industry form S$200M semiconductor R&D July 25th, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Nanoelectronics

A*STAR and industry form S$200M semiconductor R&D July 25th, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

3-D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage: Rice U. researchers predict functional advantages of 3-D boron nitride July 15th, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Discoveries

Study finds physical link to strange electronic behavior: Neutron measurements offer new clues about iron-based superconductor July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Announcements

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. to Publish PCAOB Audited Financials July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Industrial

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

University of Manchester selects Anasys AFM-IR for coatings and corrosion research July 30th, 2014

FEI Unveils New Solutions for Faster Time-to-Analysis in Metals Research July 30th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Research partnerships

Study finds physical link to strange electronic behavior: Neutron measurements offer new clues about iron-based superconductor July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 30th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE