HP Out To Fool Moore's Law? Page: 1
News <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 16/01/07
Author: PV5150
Source: CNET News

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Researchers from HP Labs plan to publish a paper this month that outlines how it may become possible to substantially increase the performance of certain types of chips, and reduce their power consumption, by replacing the communication wires inside chips with an overhead grid of tiny nanowires.

The architectural concept could prove a novel way to help tackle one of the major problems facing semiconductor designers - how to continue to shrink chips and the components inside chips. As described in Moore's Law, chip manufacturers have been able to simultaneously boost performance and cut the cost of production by reducing the size of transistors and interconnects (the metallic wires that link up transistors) every two years. Downsizing those parts, however, has become more more difficult and expensive. That in turn has forced designers to make trade-offs between performance, energy efficiency and cost. But a shift to a crossbar structure would essentially change the shrinkage formula.

"People have been wringing their hands about the end of Moore's Law, but so much of the discussion has been around, 'Oh, gee, it's so hard to shrink transistors any more,'" Williams said in an interview. "The issue here is we have--at least for one type of chip--proof in principle that it is possible to increase chip density, decrease power consumption, and increase operating speed without shrinking a transistor."

The technology has far reaching potential. Hard-drive manufacturers are thinking of adopting the imprint technique for creating patterns in future hard-drive media.

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