Computers and similar electronic devices have gotten faster and smaller over the decades as computer-chip makers have learned how to shrink individual transistors, the tiny electrical switches that convey digital information.
Scientists’ pursuit of the smallest possible transistor has allowed more of them to be packed onto each chip. But that race to the bottom is almost over: Researchers are fast approaching the physical minimum for transistor size, with recent models down to about 10 nanometers — or just 30 atoms — wide.
“The processing power of electronic devices comes from the hundreds of millions, or billions, of transistors that are interconnected on a single computer chip,” said Dr. Kyeongjae Cho, professor of materials science and engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas. “But we are rapidly approaching the lower limits of scale.”
To extend the quest for faster processing speed, the microelectronics industry is looking for alternative technologies. Cho’s research, published online April 30 in the journal Nature Communications, might offer a solution by expanding the vocabulary of the transistor.
Conventional transistors can convey just two values of information: As a switch, a transistor is either on or off, which translates into the 1s and 0s of binary language.
One way to increase processing capacity without adding more transistors would be to increase how much information each transistor conveys by introducing intermediate states between the on and off states of binary devices. A so-called multi-value logic transistor based on this principle would allow more operations and a larger amount of information to be processed in a single device.
“The concept of multi-value logic transistors is not new, and there have been many attempts to make such devices,” Cho said. “We have done it.”
Through theory, design and simulations, Cho’s group at UT Dallas developed the fundamental physics of a multi-value logic transistor based on zinc oxide. Their collaborators in South Korea successfully fabricated and evaluated the performance of a prototype device.
Cho’s device is capable of two electronically stable and reliable intermediate states between 0 and 1, boosting the number of logic values per transistor from two to three or four.
Cho said the new research is significant not only because the technology is compatible with existing computer-chip configurations, but also because it could bridge a gap between today’s computers and quantum computers, the potential next landmark in computing power.
While a conventional computer uses the precise values of 1s and 0s to make calculations, the fundamental logic units of a quantum computer are more fluid, with values that can exist as a combination of 1s and 0s at the same time or anywhere in between. Although they have yet to be realized commercially, large-scale quantum computers are theorized to be able to store more information and solve certain problems much faster than current computers.
“A device incorporating multi-level logic would be faster than a conventional computer because it would operate with more than just binary logic units. With quantum units, you have continuous values,” Cho said.
“The transistor is a very mature technology, and quantum computers are nowhere close to being commercialized,” he continued. “There is a huge gap. So how do we move from one to the other? We need some kind of evolutionary pathway, a bridging technology between binary and infinite degrees of freedom. Our work is still based on existing device technology, so it is not as revolutionary as quantum computing, but it is evolving toward that direction.”
“The concept of multi-value logic transistors is not new, and there have been many attempts to make such devices. We have done it.”
The researchers discovered they could achieve the physics needed for multi-value logic by embedding zinc oxide crystals, called quantum dots, into amorphous zinc oxide. The atoms comprising an amorphous solid are not as rigidly ordered as they are in crystalline solids.
“By engineering this material, we found that we could create a new electronic structure that enabled this multi-level logic behavior,” said Cho, who has applied for a patent. “Zinc oxide is a well-known material that tends to form both crystalline solids and amorphous solids, so it was an obvious choice to start with, but it may not be the best material. Our next step will look at how universal this behavior is among other materials as we try to optimize the technology.
“Moving forward, I also want to see how we might interface this technology with a quantum device.”
The Latest on: Multi-value logic transistors
[google_news title=”” keyword=”multi-value logic transistors” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Multi-value logic transistors
- New computer virus causes havocon November 30, 2023 at 4:00 pm
A powerful new computer virus was today causing havoc with e-mail systems across the world. Experts described the virus, called Goner, as one of the fastest-spreading they had yet seen and warned ...
- RNA Virus: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, And Treatmenton November 29, 2023 at 3:59 pm
It is a type of virus that contains ‘RNA’ as its genomic. It is generally single-stranded (ssRNA) but can become double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in some specific conditions. They are present everywhere, ...
- An Overview of John Cunningham Viruson November 28, 2023 at 4:00 pm
John Cunningham virus or JC virus is another name for human polyomavirus 2. JC virus is very common—between 50% to 90% of the world’s population would test positive for it. Researchers have known ...
- Virus Scanner for Macon November 22, 2023 at 7:30 pm
The award-winning Bitdefender engines will find that malware. For free! Bitdefender Virus Scanner finds Mac malware as well as Windows viruses with ease. Scan running apps, scan critical locations, ...
- True Virus Reviewon November 18, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Games like True Virus – a point-and-click adventure that promises to get you out of bed. A True Virus is spreading Set in a small European town, in True Virus a virus (unsurprisingly ...
- Respiratory virus dashboardon November 18, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Respiratory virus data included in the interactive data application is up-to-date as November 25, 2023. Among its new features, the dashboard now includes RSV cases and positivity, with plans to ...
- How to remove a virus from an Android phoneon November 14, 2023 at 4:00 pm
These are some of the signs that your Android phone has been infected with a virus. Luckily, there are a couple of ways to clean your Android from viruses. You can either change some of your device ...
- FDA approves first vaccine against chikungunya viruson November 9, 2023 at 4:25 pm
The US Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it has approved the first vaccine to prevent disease caused by the chikungunya virus. Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease whose name in the ...
- What to know about flu and COVID vaccines as respiratory virus season beginson November 9, 2023 at 4:01 pm
With Canada’s colder weather comes respiratory virus season, as flus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulate alongside COVID-19. While Canadians learned a lot about how to protect ...
- Male-Killing Virus Is Discovered in Insectson November 5, 2023 at 4:00 pm
By Elizabeth Anne Brown Scientists in Japan have identified a virus that selectively kills males — and it happens to be inheritable, creating generation upon generation of all females.
via Bing News