Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nano-Chips To Power Computers, Phones Of The Future

Date:
July 8, 2006
Source:
Glasgow University
Summary:
British scientists are playing a key role in the drive to make electronic gadgets smaller, smarter and even more powerful. Researchers from five universities are designing a new generation of ‘nano-electronic’ circuits (chips) that will power the computers and mobile phones of the future. The circuits may also make possible entirely new forms of electronic device that could benefit a range of sectors, including entertainment, communications and medicine.

British scientists are playing a key role in the drive to make electronic gadgets smaller, smarter and even more powerful. Researchers from five universities are designing a new generation of ‘nano-electronic’ circuits (chips) that will power the computers and mobile phones of the future. The circuits may also make possible entirely new forms of electronic device that could benefit a range of sectors, including entertainment, communications and medicine.

Related Articles


The quest for new circuits has been prompted by the relentless advance of technology, which is now proving to be a real headache for the microelectronics industry. The microscopic transistors which are the cogs and wheels of all electronic devices are becoming even smaller and designers must now devise electronic circuits that are compatible with them.

Teams at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Southampton and York are striving to create nanoscale circuits, using transistors that are 80,000 times smaller than a hair’s breadth. Because the circuits in today’s ipods and PCs will not work with nano-transistors, this research – which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – is vital to prevent the industry from grinding to a halt.

In the next decade, transistors will not only be ten times smaller – they will also behave very differently. Two of todays transistors, identical in shape and size, will behave in more or less the same way. That, however, will not be the case at nanoscale.

The next generation of transistors will, in the jargon of chip design, be ‘unmatched’– despite being apparently identical. They will also be extremely ‘noisy’, adding a strong random signal of their own (known as device noise) to whatever signal they are dealing with.

“The circuits we currently use cannot cope with this form of mismatch and randomness,” says Professor Alan Murray, of the University of Edinburgh. “They will require at least re-design - possibly even complete replacement - with circuits that have not yet been invented. We can’t wait for silicon technology to create viable, production-line nanoscale transistors. It will then be too late to start looking for ways to use them. We must start now.”

This new project will allow circuits to be designed that can cope with, or even make use of, the unavoidable bad behaviour of nanoscale transistors. It will use e-Science – which draws on shared data and massive computing power – to bring together computer simulations of transistors that do not yet exist and simulations of circuits that use them.

Principal investigator, Professor Asen Asenov, of the University of Glasgow, is looking forward to the challenge: “This project brings together leading semiconductor device, circuit and system experts from academia and industry and e-scientists with strong Grid expertise. Only by working in close collaboration, and adequately connected and resourced by e-Science and Grid technology, can we understand and tackle the design complexity of nano-CMOS electronics, securing a competitive advantage for the UK electronics industry.”

Professor Richard Sinnott, of the National e-Science Centre at the University of Glasgow, who will lead the e-Science development activity, is also eagerly anticipating the project: “Through close collaboration with our partners, we expect to revolutionise the way in which the disparate teams involved in electronics design process work. Our Grid efforts will be on four key areas: workflows, security, data management and resource management, each targeted to the real needs of the scientists we are to support.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Glasgow University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Glasgow University. "Nano-Chips To Power Computers, Phones Of The Future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060708082927.htm>.
Glasgow University. (2006, July 8). Nano-Chips To Power Computers, Phones Of The Future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060708082927.htm
Glasgow University. "Nano-Chips To Power Computers, Phones Of The Future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060708082927.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) — Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) — The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

AP (Jan. 22, 2015) — NTSB investigators recommended Thursday that long-distance passenger planes carry improved technology to allow them to be found more easily in a crash, as well as include enhanced cockpit recording technology. (Jan. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins