A recently developed plasma-based chip fabrication technique affords chip makers unprecedented control of plasma thanks to a population of suprathermal electrons. This is critical to modern microchip fabrication, but how the beam electrons transform themselves into this suprathermal population has been a puzzle. New computer simulations reveal how intense plasma waves generate suprathermal electrons.
Our brains have upwards of 86 billion neurons, connected by synapses that not only...
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the Univ. of...
An industry-academic partnership has created two different optical components that can...
During this week’s Intel Developer Forum, new Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a number of near-term changes for the company’s product line, including new LTE and 14-nm products, and a lower-power product family called Quark directed at future wearable electronics devices.
Unlike the building blocks of conventional hard disk drives and memories, resistive memory cells (ReRAM) are active electrochemical components. In these cells, ions generate voltage on electrodes in a similar manner to a battery. Researchers in Europe have conducted an extensive study of ReRAMs, also described as memristors, and have found previously undiscovered sources of voltage in these devices.
Still among the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world, the $121 million Roadrunner at Los Alamos National Laboratory was decommissioned Sunday. Roadrunner, constructed with the help of IBM, was the first to break the petaflop barrier in 2008, and was unusual at the time for being entirely built out of commercially available parts. Its replacement is smaller, cheaper, and faster.
Two years ago, a research team in Switzerland revealed the promising electronic properties of molybdenite, a mineral that is abundant in nature. Several months later, they demonstrated the possibility of building an efficient molybdenite chip. Today, they've combined two materials with advantageous electronic properties—graphene and molybdenite—into a promising flash memory prototype.
A variety of solid-state systems are currently being investigated as candidates for quantum bits of information, or qubits. One such qubit, a quantum dot, is made of semiconductor nanocrystals embedded in a chip, but the quality of photons generated from solid-state qubits can be low due to decoherence. Now, researchers in the U.K. have generated single photons with tailored properties from solid-state devices that are identical in quality to lasers
Imagine that the chips in your smartphone or computer could repair and defend themselves on the fly, recovering in microseconds from problems ranging from less-than-ideal battery power to total transistor failure. It might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a team of engineers at the California Institute of Technology, for the first time ever, has developed just such self-healing integrated chips.
Memristors are made of fine nanolayers and can be used to connect electric circuits and for several years have been considered to be the electronic equivalent of the synapse. A researcher in Germany, physicist Andy Thomas, is now using his memristors as key components for his blueprint for an artificial brain.
Stretched-out clothing might not be a great practice for laundry day, but in the case of microprocessor manufacture, stretching out the atomic structure of the silicon in the critical components of a device can be a good way to increase a processor's performance.
Researchers at Columbia University are attempting to build self-powered systems using nanoscale devices that can transmit and receive wireless signals using so little power that their batteries never need replacing. Some of the chips built so far are 100 times more energy efficient than most standard technologies, and they rely on tiny bits of ambient solar energy to recharge themselves.
Scientists from the University of Cambridge, U.K., have created, for the first time, a new type of microchip which allows information to travel in three dimensions. The chip’s design relies on spintronics, a technology that makes use of an electron's tiny magnetic moment, or “spin”, to store information. Currently, microchips can only pass digital information in a very limited way—from either left to right or front to back.
Light isn’t always cooperative, and one it’s least favorite things to go around corners. In photonics chips, direction changes are crucial for manipulating light for the purpose of carrying information. Researchers recently have devised a solution—an irregularly-shaped waveguide— that tricks light into thinking it’s going in a straight line.
Scientists in Switzerland have found that reorganizing the inner architecture of the processors used in massive data processing centers can yield significant energy savings. They argue that using a greater number of less-powerful cores would be a more appropriate to current usage, which involves memory retrieval far more than complicated analysis.
NVIDIA today unveiled the NVIDIA Tesla K20 family of graphical processing unit (GPU) accelerators, which are the fastest and most efficient accelerators ever built. The chip technology powers Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s recently completed Titan, the world’s fastest supercomputer according to the TOP500 list released on Monday at the SC12 supercomputing conference.
According to the Top500 list, the semiannual ranking of computing systems around the world that was announced Monday morning, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Titan is now the world’s most potent supercomputer. It eclipses the most recent top performed, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Sequoia, with a speed of 17.59 petaflops in testing. The Titan is a Cray XK7 hybrid system, built from 16-core processors equipped with graphic processing unit (GPU) accelerators.
A European research team has recently been able to demonstrate that germanium, under certain conditions, can function as a laser material. Together with silicon, the researchers report, germanium lasers could form the basis for innovative computer chips in which information would be transferred partially in the form of light.
In attempt to achieve better control of heat flows in electronic devices, a researcher in Finland has invented two new mesoscopic devices based on the behavior of single electrons in a constructed system. The inventions, which include a diode, or rectifier, specifically address the heat carried by an electron and help produce a strongly asymmetric heat flow. The next step will be to manage larger currents.
On Tuesday IBM introduced a new line of mainframe computers the company calls its most powerful and technologically advanced ever. The zEnterprise EC12 mainframe server is designed to help users securely and quickly sift through massive amounts of data. Running at 5.5 GHz, IBM said the microprocessor that powers the mainframe is the fastest chip in the world.
A critical element in any microchip is an inverter—an electronic component that spits out zeros when it is given ones, and vice versa. Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, or CMOS, is the industry standard for this type of component, but still requires billions of dollars to achieve production scale. Researchers have recently pioneered a room-temperature additive process that creates a nanoscale inverter quickly and at low cost.
A research team at the University of Santa Barbara has designed and fabricated a quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number—in this case the number 15—into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5. Although modest compared to, say, a 600-digit number, the algorithm they developed was right about half the time, matching theoretical predictions and marking a milestone on the trail of building a stronger quantum computer.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have developed a complex network computer that is equally capable of performing arbitrary calculations as conventional computer, but does this under completely different conditions. Instead of a 0s and 1s in a binary system, this computer can in principle compute from, or be built from, any oscillating system, like a pendulum.
Memory-chip maker Micron Technology Inc. has agreed to buy Elpida Memory Inc. for approximately $750 million in cash in a deal that would boost its wafer manufacturing capacity by about 50%. Elpida specializes in dynamic random access memory chips used in mobile phones and computers, and has been developing a plan of reorganization since filing for the largest manufacturing bankruptcy ever in Japan earlier this year.
Using a variety of techniques in the IBM labs, scientists have established three new records for reducing errors in elementary computations and retaining the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits, the basic units that carry information within quantum computing. Their results were presented at the annual American Physical Society meeting this week in Boston.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows graphics processing units and central processing units on a single chip to collaborate—boosting processor performance by an average of more than 20%.
The microchip revolution has seen a steady shrinking of features on silicon chips, packing in more transistors and wires to boost chips' speed and data capacity. But in recent years, the technologies behind these chips have begun to bump up against fundamental limits, such as the wavelengths of light used for critical steps in chip manufacturing. Now, a new technique offers a way to break through one of these limits.
Molybdenite, a mineral of molybdenum disulfide, was shown earlier this year to be an effective band gap semiconductor and a possible competitor to graphene. EPFL scientists have now made the first molybdenite microchip, boasting smaller and more energy-efficient transistors than traditional silicon.
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