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Singapore-US scientists first to develop revolutionary microchip that uses 30 times less energy
Date:2/9/2009

, or probabilistic computing, with an extremely energy-aware attribute. This is due to the fact that, unlike conventional designs that view noise as a nuisance, our design concept embraces noise as a "gem" - this novel technology recycles noise."

The microchip is a successful proof-of-concept of the PCMOS technology which has demonstrated an improvement of 30 times in terms of energy consumption while running seven times faster than the contemporary CMOS design.

This is in contrast with today's silicon transistors become increasingly 'noisy' as they get smaller, thus engineers have historically dealt with this by boosting the operating voltage to overpower the noise to ensure accurate calculations, leading to higher energy consumption levels.

"With this PCMOS technology, noise/parameter variations are part of the overall design and are managed as a resource to achieve significant energy savings. Our vision is to see a new generation of probabilistic-based nanoelectronics with diverse applications in media, biomedical, information technology (IT) and consumer electronics. The success of this project would go a long way in promoting the advent of a new generation of 'green' IT at lower costs to consumers," says Professor Yeo.

Professor Yeo, Dr Kong, Professor Palem and his student, Dr Pinar Korkmaz, successfully ran the first real-world tests of the revolutionary prototype microchip. This is a culmination of various chip designs and testing that started in 2005.

According to Professor Yeo, PCMOS is also ideally suited for encryption, a process that relies on generating random numbers. Thus the microchip can be quickly incorporated in electronic devices such as in computer gaming, lotteries and cryptography (internet security) where random calculations are valuable. "This is in addition to applications where there is a need to produce statistical simulation, such as in financial and economic forecast so that more accurate p
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Contact: Hisham Hambari
mhisham@ntu.edu.sg
656-790-6447
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

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