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New nanotechnology procedures from HP may become the norm for processor design as early as 2010

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HP Lab Researchers have created a new “field programmable nanowire interconnect" (FPNI) architecture, a variation on the FPGA technology, that could allow chip makers to place eight times the number of transistors currently possible on standard 45nm field programmable gate array, or FPGA, chips.

Stan Williams, an HP Senior Fellow and director, said in a press statement “As conventional chip electronics continue to shrink, Moore’s Law is on a collision course with the laws of physics. Excessive heating and defective device operation arise at the nanoscale. What we’ve been able to do is combine conventional CMOS technology with nanoscale switching devices in a hybrid circuit to increase effective transistor density, reduce power dissipation, and dramatically improve tolerance to defective devices.”

Current conventional FPGA chips use 80 to 90 percent of their CMOS for signal routing, leaving a relatively small portion for logic processing transistors. With the new FPNI approach, all logic operations will be performed in the CMOS (complementary metal oxide silicon) while most of the signal routing will take place in a nanoscale crossbar switch structure which will be placed on top of the CMOS.

The crossbar is connected to the CMOS using technology developed by Dmitri Strukov and Konstantin Likharev of Stony Brook University in New York. The new FPNI approach is said to have numerous benefits including the possibility of a much higher transistor count along with lower power consumption.

The first implementation of the new method, which uses 15-nanometer-wide crossbar wires combined with 45nm half-pitch CMOS on a conservative chip model, is said to be the equivalent of a three generation leap on the International Technology Roadmap for Silicon without having to shrink the transistors. Restating it, this means that applying the FPNI architecture using a 15nm crossbar on a current 45nm chip will allow 8 times as many transistors compared to using no crossbar. Researchers believe this model will be technologically possible by 2010.

A model based on 4.5nm-wide crossbar architecture combined with 45nm CMOS was also presented. The 4.5nm-wide crossbar would allow the same amount of transistors to be placed in a hybrid chip only 4 percent the size of a current 45nm chip. Snider and Williams believe it will be ready by 2020.

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By djkrypplephite on 1/17/2007 5:11:10 PM , Rating: 4
Most cool technology never sees it to market. This will probably be another example of something really, really useful that nobody will use for some stupid reason.

RE: doubtful
By Scrogneugneu on 1/17/2007 9:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
Stupid reason most likely being money and/or patents and/or lawsuits.

By Xenoterranos on 1/17/2007 10:55:30 AM , Rating: 3
So is this only for FPGA-like chips, or can this tech eventually make it into architechted(sp?) type chips.

RE: Usefulness?
By PrinceGaz on 1/17/2007 8:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
HP Lab Researchers have created a new “field programmable nanowire interconnect" (FPNI) architecture, a variation on the FPGA technology, that could allow chip makers to place eight times the number of transistors currently possible on standard 45nm field programmable gate array, or FPGA, chips.

Since this new development (FPNI) is also a field-programmable architecture, I'm pretty certain it is only suitable for use with FPGA chips. An 8x increase in transistor-density will certainly be good for those devices which use FPGA chips, but it will offer no benefit whatsoever to conventional architected chips as they already use optimised interconnects and re-programmable ones would be a big step backwards.

by 2010
By l3ored on 1/17/2007 1:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
hopefully this will still be a giant leap forward compared to the processors we'll already have in 2010.

RE: by 2010
By ceefka on 1/17/2007 3:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
These babies might sit on your PCI-E 3.0 add on card and be upgradable by flash helping your system with what your system does most. Sure they have a future.

By Micronite on 1/17/2007 2:24:30 PM , Rating: 3
I'm really thrilled about all the research that is going into nanotechnology. What the semiconductor transistor did to old tube transistors, so will nanotubes, nanowires, etc... do to traditional IC circuitry.

By 2020...
By Fnoob on 1/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: By 2020...
By JTKTR on 1/17/2007 9:17:22 AM , Rating: 1

RE: By 2020...
By ZoZo on 1/17/2007 9:31:29 AM , Rating: 3
Well nothing else must have worked for him, must be wishful thinking.

RE: By 2020...
By shecknoscopy on 1/17/2007 9:53:50 AM , Rating: 3
By 2020, Vivid Entertainment will have merged with HP to provide a nano solution to male erectile dysfunction.

Waiting for the nano scale solution, eh? Hold me closer, tiny dancer.

Sheq, acting like he's 12.

RE: By 2020...
By Lonyo on 1/17/2007 10:07:36 AM , Rating: 3
Hey, it got a rise out of you lot.

RE: By 2020...
By Samus on 1/17/2007 12:45:33 PM , Rating: 5
i vote this for 'weirdest comment. ever.'

RE: By 2020...
By Fnoob on 1/17/2007 8:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
We have a winner. Precisely what I was aiming for.

I blame my childhood, way too much paxil and the untimely absence of coffee. The timely arrival of 20 year off technology combined with HD-Porn justified the post.

This much is perfectly clear, if the porn industry was responsible for computer R&D, we would have push-button erections on demand for 90 yr olds... within 5 years.

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