Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Sun Microsystems Awarded $44 Million Department of Defense Contract to Develop Microchip Interconnect System

Abstract:
DARPA Project Advances Chip Communications Via Proximity and Optical Connections to Create Potential for Virtual Supercomputer from Network of Low-Cost Chips

Sun Microsystems Awarded $44 Million Department of Defense Contract to Develop Microchip Interconnect System

SANTA CLARA, CA | Posted on March 24th, 2008

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) today announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Sun $44.29 million funding for a five and a half-year research project focused on microchip interconnectivity via on-chip optical networks enabled by Silicon photonics and proximity communication. Part of DARPA's Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communication program, the project commences with an incremental delivery of $8.1 million to Sun Microsystems' Microelectronics and Laboratories divisions. For more information on research projects at Sun, visit http://www.research.sun.com.

Building on research done under DARPA's High Productivity Computing Systems program, Sun's new project will accelerate the development of lower cost, high performance and high productivity systems. The project presents a unique opportunity to develop supercomputers through interconnecting an array of low-cost chips, with the potential to overcome the fundamental cost and performance limits of scaling up today's large computer systems. By providing unprecedented high bandwidth, low latency, and low power interconnections between the parallel computing chips in such an array, this research project will help enable a broad class of companies and organizations to utilize applications with high compute and communication requirements, such as energy exploration, biotechnology and weather modeling.

"Optical communications could be a truly game-changing technology—an elegant way to continue impressive performance gains while completely changing the economics of large-scale silicon production," said Greg Papadopoulos, chief technology officer and executive vice president of research and development for Sun. "Congratulations to Sun Labs and Microelectronics teams for their constructive creativity and for driving innovation into the semiconductor marketplace."

Sun's program combines optical signaling with Proximity Communication, its key chip-to-chip I/O technology, to construct arrays of low-cost chips in a single virtual "macrochip." Such an aggregation of inexpensive chips looks and performs like a single chip of enormous size, thus extending Moore's Law; it also avoids soldered chip connections to enable lower total system cost. Long connections across the macrochip leverage the low latency, high bandwidth, and low power of silicon optics, and through this program Sun and DARPA will research technologies to dramatically further reduce the cost of these optical connections. The result is a virtual supercomputer.

"DARPA's UNIC (Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communications) program will demonstrate high performance photonic technology for high bandwidth, on-chip, photonic communications networks for advanced (≥ 10 trillion operations/second) microprocessors. By restoring the balance between computation and communications, the program will significantly enhance DoD's capabilities for applications such as Image Processing, Autonomous Operations, Synthetic Aperture Radar, as well as supercomputing," said Dr. Jag Shah, program manager in DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office.

Accelerating Innovation to Extend Moore's Law

The historic accuracy of Moore's Law, which predicts a periodic doubling of the number of transistors that can cost-effectively build on a single chip, is partly behind the impressive growth of microprocessor performance over the last 30 years. Today, though, continued improvements are slowing down, as power and size constraints limit the growth of chip clock frequencies. Boosting computer performance by accumulating hundreds or thousands of cores per chip allows users to exploit massively parallel execution, but it also requires large increases in the number of transistors on a chip, and hence an unconstrained continuation of Moore's Law. However, as Dr. Gordon Moore himself predicted long ago, economic limits on the global financial investment in semiconductors are now slowing down Moore's Law.

####

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Sun Microsystems develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision -- "The Network is the Computer" -- Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Karen Kahn
VP, Global Communications
415-294-5362

Copyright © Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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 News Press

News and information

Virginia Tech physicists propose path to faster, more flexible robots: Virginia Tech physicists revealed a microscopic phenomenon that could greatly improve the performance of soft devices, such as agile flexible robots or microscopic capsules for drug delivery May 17th, 2024

Gene therapy relieves back pain, repairs damaged disc in mice: Study suggests nanocarriers loaded with DNA could replace opioids May 17th, 2024

Shedding light on perovskite hydrides using a new deposition technique: Researchers develop a methodology to grow single-crystal perovskite hydrides, enabling accurate hydride conductivity measurements May 17th, 2024

Oscillating paramagnetic Meissner effect and Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in cuprate superconductor May 17th, 2024

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

International research team uses wavefunction matching to solve quantum many-body problems: New approach makes calculations with realistic interactions possible May 17th, 2024

Aston University researcher receives £1 million grant to revolutionize miniature optical devices May 17th, 2024

NRL charters Navy’s quantum inertial navigation path to reduce drift April 5th, 2024

Discovery points path to flash-like memory for storing qubits: Rice find could hasten development of nonvolatile quantum memory April 5th, 2024

Chip Technology

Diamond glitter: A play of colors with artificial DNA crystals May 17th, 2024

Oscillating paramagnetic Meissner effect and Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in cuprate superconductor May 17th, 2024

Discovery points path to flash-like memory for storing qubits: Rice find could hasten development of nonvolatile quantum memory April 5th, 2024

Utilizing palladium for addressing contact issues of buried oxide thin film transistors April 5th, 2024

Optical computing/Photonic computing

Aston University researcher receives £1 million grant to revolutionize miniature optical devices May 17th, 2024

With VECSELs towards the quantum internet Fraunhofer: IAF achieves record output power with VECSEL for quantum frequency converters April 5th, 2024

Chemical reactions can scramble quantum information as well as black holes April 5th, 2024

Optically trapped quantum droplets of light can bind together to form macroscopic complexes March 8th, 2024

Announcements

Virginia Tech physicists propose path to faster, more flexible robots: Virginia Tech physicists revealed a microscopic phenomenon that could greatly improve the performance of soft devices, such as agile flexible robots or microscopic capsules for drug delivery May 17th, 2024

Diamond glitter: A play of colors with artificial DNA crystals May 17th, 2024

Finding quantum order in chaos May 17th, 2024

Oscillating paramagnetic Meissner effect and Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in cuprate superconductor May 17th, 2024

Military

NRL charters Navy’s quantum inertial navigation path to reduce drift April 5th, 2024

What heat can tell us about battery chemistry: using the Peltier effect to study lithium-ion cells March 8th, 2024

The Access to Advanced Health Institute receives up to $12.7 million to develop novel nanoalum adjuvant formulation for better protection against tuberculosis and pandemic influenza March 8th, 2024

New chip opens door to AI computing at light speed February 16th, 2024

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project