As chips continue to get smaller, the technological possibilities just get larger.
One of the trade-offs of miniaturization, however, is that smaller things are also often more fragile and less dependable. Anticipating a point at which chips will become too tiny to maintain their current level of resilience, a team of four companies and two universities in The Netherlands, Germany, and Finland have created what they say could be the solution – a chip that monitors its own performance, and redirects tasks as needed.
“Because of the rapidly growing transistor density on chips, it has become a real challenge to ensure high system dependability,” said Hans Kerkhoff of The Netherlands’ University of Twente, and part of the CRISP (Cutting-edge Reconfigurable ICs for Stream Processing) consortium. “The solution is not to make non-degradable chips, it’s to make architectures that can degrade while they keep functioning, which we call graceful degradation.”
- Faster, smaller and more economical gallium nitride transistors (physorg.com)
- Nanomachines Just 30 Atoms Wide (bigthink.com)