HOUSTON, Sept. 4, 2007 Computing researchers at Houston's Rice University and electronics specialists at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today announced the formation of a $2.6-million Institute for Sustainable Nanoelectronics (ISNE). The joint research initiative, valued at 4 million Singapore dollars, aims to slash the design and production costs for embedded microchips -- special-purpose computer chips that power everything from cell phones and digital cameras to jet airplanes and MRI machines.
"A major goal of the collaboration is to help sustain Moore's Law and exploit the exponential rate at which electronic components have been shrinking for more than four decades," said Rice researcher Krishna Palem, the architect of the multinational initiative.
For instance, in a streaming video application on a cell phone, it's unnecessary to conduct precise calculations. The small screen, combined with the human brain's ability to process less-than-perfect pictures, results in a case where the picture looks just as good with a calculation that's only approximately correct.
"The key is tying the costs for design, energy consumption and production to the value that the computed information has for the user," Palem said.
ISNE is funded by and based at NTU. It will draw upon an International Network of Excellence directed by Palem. The broad-based network will include computing experts from elite organizations like NTU, Rice and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
"NTU is pleased to be collaborating with Rice to spearhead research in sustainable nanoelectronics," said NTU President Su Guaning. "Leveraging the strengths of NTU and Rice, both top technological universities, will no doubt bring about exciting breakthroughs. We are also glad to have Professor Palem, renowned for his computing methodology, head the ISNE."
The institute will partner with Rice's new Value of Information-based Sustainabl
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