Transforming Nanodevices into Nanosystems: The N3XT 1,000X
Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
The computing demands of future abundant-data applications far exceed the capabilities of today’s electronics, and cannot be met by isolated improvements in transistor technologies, memories, or integrated circuit (IC) architectures alone. Transformative nanosystems, which leverage the unique properties of emerging nanotechnologies to create new IC architectures, are required to deliver unprecedented performance and energy efficiency. However, emerging nanomaterials and nanodevices face major obstacles such as inherent imperfections and variations. Thus, realizing working circuits, let alone transformative nanosystems, has been infeasible.
The N3XT (Nano-Engineered Computing Systems Technology) approach overcomes these challenges through recent advances across the computing stack: (a) transistors using nanomaterials such as one-dimensional carbon nanotubes (and two-dimensional semiconductors) for high performance and energy efficiency, (b) high-density non-volatile resistive and magnetic memories, (c) Ultra-dense (e.g., monolithic) three-dimensional integration of logic and memory for fine-grained connectivity, (d) new architectures for computation immersed in memory, and (e) new materials technologies and their integration for efficient heat removal.
N3XT hardware prototypes represent leading examples of transforming scientifically-interesting nanomaterials and nanodevices into actual nanosystems. Compared to conventional approaches, N3XT architectures promise to improve the energy efficiency of abundant-data applications significantly, in the range of three orders of magnitude, thereby enabling new frontiers of applications for both mobile devices and the cloud.