The great thing about my job is that I get to see a flood of information cross my desk that may seem disparate, but when you step back and look at the information as a whole you start to see the connections. Several approaches are being taken to either inch our way to a solution while others are being developed to completely change how we develop ever faster computing designs that don't get frozen by the heat.
The idea of saving more is rampant in the news. In the political arena, the talking heads want us to save for our own retirement and in sports it's about saving the quality of the game by doing away with artificial means of improvement (steroids), and in one case, about saving the season (hockey) and possibly the sport. In electronics/semiconductors the big talk is about saving energy by being more efficient. The great thing about my job is that I get to see a flood of information cross my desk that may seem disparate, but when you step back and look at the information as a whole you start to see the connections.
From a comfortable airline seat (is that an oxymoron?), Dr. Michael Frank reports on the happenings of a recent industry sponsored event he attended on reversible computing. It was contentious at times because everyone has his/her own interests to preserve, and Professor Frank gives you an honest assessment of the events. The base line of his research is that the electronics industry must make some design changes if it is to progress towards even more powerful computing. The wall that designers will hit has to do with crippling amounts of heat. He and many others have made some inroads towards solving this problem but much more needs to be done and many more difficult sessions will occur before a consensus is reached. But the possibilities are there and it's on to zetaflop computing!
Collaboration and agreement to join expertise is one way solve the riddle of power management. For example, joint materials research has dipped into the quantum well as researchers from QinetiQ and Intel have built quantum-well transistors. Quantum well transistors' research showed a 10x lower power consumption for the same performance.
On the battery front, a Li+ bipolar design achieved a lighter, more efficient multi-cell prototype. Electro Energy has successfully integrated its patented bipolar battery design with lithium ion technology to achieve a lighter, more efficient multi-cell prototype. This could be the right stuff!
Further out on the research horizon we see that a material from mPhase Technologies called Nanograss still needs fertilizing. It's part of a battery being developed by mPhase that could power products such as cell phones and PDAs.
Can't you hear Carl Sagan from Cosmos fame say: 'billions and billions of transistors' when looking at where electronic designs are headed. This author says that the
future is more than Moore. Recognizing the difficulty of achieving the progressive scaling posited 40 years ago by Intel's Gordon Moore, circuit designers at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference last week embraced nanoelectronics as a way to meet Moore's Law projections.
At first they seem disparate and disjointed but by taking a step back you can see that the physical laws of circuit design are a limiting factor and several approaches are being taken to either inch our way to a solution while others are being developed to completely change how we develop ever faster computing designs that don't get frozen by the heat.
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