"Rice and NTU are well-positioned to lead the search for sustainable new technologies in nanoelectronics," said Rice President David Leebron. "NTU is a leader in electronics and a well-known contributor to Singapore's economic vitality. Rice is a leader in engineering and nanotechnology, with a well-deserved reputation for international collaboration and the development and application of new ideas."
The institute hopes to evolve a design methodology that will be applicable not only to today's complementary metaloxide semiconductors, or CMOS, but also to emerging computing platforms based on photonics and nanotechnology. The platform-independent approach is one of the institute's central themes, said Palem, who recently finished a yearlong appointment at the California Institute of Technology as a Gordon Moore Distinguished Scholar.
One example of the new "value-of-information" approach is probabilistic CMOS, or PCMOS, a new technology and an accompanying computing architecture invented within the past five years by Palem's research team. The key to PCMOS is a scheme that allows chips to trade off energy consumption at the cost of increased electronic "noise," which leads to slight processing errors.
The beauty of PCMOS is that most of today's chips are over-engineered for day-to-day applications. In prior research, Palem ran cell-phone-style streaming video applications in a side-by-side comparison on PCMOS chips and traditional, power-hungry cell-phone chips. An award-winning demonstration of the technique at a 2006 conference in Seoul, South Korea, wowed audiences, who saw no appreciable difference in picture quality, even though the PCMOS chips used five times less power. Palem and colleagues at NTU are currently testing the first-generation production prototype PCMOS chips.
"As information processing systems beco
|Contact: Jade Boyd|