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IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic

9/4/2012 01:05 PM EDT
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Jayna Sheats
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
Jayna Sheats   9/4/2012 4:39:39 PM
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Work on this topic has been going on at UC Berkeley for several years and they are making small scale demonstrators now. How does the European academic background work compare?

PaDesigner
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
PaDesigner   9/4/2012 10:31:23 PM
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Swedish inst. and few others have related works on this.

Wilton.Helm
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
Wilton.Helm   9/4/2012 9:49:45 PM
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One possible advantage would be that this takes us back to the polarity insensitive and bidirictional current flow inherent in a relay. Back when logic was routinely made from relays, those attributes were routinely taken advantage of to create systems that weren't strictly boolean in nature. The result was fewer relays (and lower power consumption).

csmaurojr
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
csmaurojr   9/4/2012 10:17:46 PM
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You must be joking... THIS is where we're headed? Somehow, I doubt that Intel and others are too worried about the potential competition. Still, it does cause one pause, and in thinking about it, I can see all sorts of low-end applications that beg for as close to zero power if were possible to achieve. This may help.

vipul982
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
vipul982   9/5/2012 3:52:08 AM
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I can't imagine we are headed towards these type of technologies. I doubt that using mechanical compponents would create a hell of noise in circuits, lot of research must be done.

TFCSD
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
TFCSD   9/5/2012 4:08:11 AM
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Cool, I use to work on IBM wire logic relays on their unit record machines in the 80's. Just give me a small enough contact file and lots of contact cleaner.

rf_austin
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
rf_austin   9/5/2012 3:30:25 PM
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No matter how small you make a mems switch, the switching speed is still in kHz or at best barely reaching MHz. Although it is small, there is still inertia associated with the metal that is being moved. For those applications that are okay with kHz clock rates but almost no power consumption and extraordinarily radiation hard, this could be what you are waiting for.

Jayna Sheats
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
Jayna Sheats   9/5/2012 5:20:18 PM
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This is actually not true; the UC Berkeley group has already demonstrated ns response times and sub-micron features. The technology promises to scale well. The issues are really system-level: device advantages often get lost when the constraints of an entire system are considered.

rf_austin
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
rf_austin   9/7/2012 2:08:04 AM
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Okay... indeed, they have demonstrated 10ns switching in 90nm technology. I went back to a Berkeley MEMS paper presented at ISSCC 2010 titled "Prospects for MEM Logic Switch Technology" by Tsu-Jae King Liu, et. al. A very interesting and well written paper. Please contemplate the implications of the following statement pulled from the cited paper. "Ideally, relay endurance should exceed ~3×10^14 cycles, e.g. so that a relay- based microcontroller for embedded sensor applications could operate reliably for 10 years at 100 MHz clock frequency and 0.01 average transition probability." The clock restrictions implied in that statement are significant. Since this is an emerging technology, perhaps they will find a chemistry that enables higher reliability, which translates into greater reliability and longer life or significantly higher transition probability. Higher clock rate... perhaps. I have built MEMS switches for RF applications and I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but it also makes me well aware of fundamental physics. i hope they prove me wrong and will gladly drink to their success.

icdsn
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
icdsn   9/5/2012 3:33:23 PM
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3x3um cell size, logic will be $$$

Peter Clarke
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
Peter Clarke   9/5/2012 5:28:40 PM
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Dont forget that Cavendish Kinetics and others have been working on memories based on this approach for years.

any1
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
any1   9/5/2012 9:26:11 PM
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I have seen some simple devices using cantilevered carbon nanotubes. I can see carbon nanotube enabled switches scaling much smaller than 3 by 3 microns.

krisi
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re: IBM, ST go back to the future with nanorelay logic
krisi   9/6/2012 2:26:23 PM
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Interesting discussion, we had very interesting talks on this topic at emerging technologies symposiums (www.cmoset.com)...mechanical devices look slow but at nanoscale they can be actually pretty fast, ns or so...they also look large but again at nanosacel they can be quite small so you can put fair amount of them on IC...having said that there is no way they can replace MOSFETs, they can only add value by providing extra functionality like lower leakage switches...Kris

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