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Primeur weekly 2017-01-23

Exascale supercomputing

China plans to develop powerful exascale computer ...

HiPEAC Vision 2017 finds it is 'time to reinvent computing' ...

Richard Gerber tapped to oversee NERSC's High Performance Computing Department ...

NERSC's first 'NESAP for Data' teams hit the ground running ...

ORNL plays key role in Exascale Computing Project's first year ...

Quantum computing

Seeing the quantum future... literally ...

Focus on Europe

At the vanguard of European computing systems: HiPEAC17 ...

PRACE to offer MOOCs via Future Learn ...

PRACE Summer of HPC 2017 opens for applications ...

Hardware

Hartree Centre to take delivery of powerful new generation supercomputer ...

Indiana University and international partners light 100G transatlantic link over Aqua Comms' AEConnect subsea cable ...

Nanyang Technological University and German scientists turn memory chips into processors to speed up computing tasks ...

Graphene's sleeping superconductivity awakens ...

Supercomputer market to be driven by the development of smart cities through 2021, says Technavio ...

DDN and China-based Inspur sign landmark HPC joint sales and marketing agreement ...

GW4 joins industry partners to develop 'first of its kind' supercomputer ...

Automotive safety hypervisor announced for ARM Cortex-R52 ...

Eastern Mediterranean spurred on by EUMEDCONNECT3 project extension and Lebanon capacity upgrade ...

Applications

King Faisal Prize for Würzburg physicist ...

Largest Populus SNP dataset holds promise for biofuels, materials, and metabolites ...

Glass's off-kilter harmonies: New modelling method focuses attention on amorphous material's unusual vibrational modes ...

Basel physicist Daniel Loss receives the King Faisal International Prize ...

Protein research: the computer as microscope ...

Teaching computers to recognize unhealthy guts ...

2017 International Summer School on HPC Challenges in Computational Sciences to be organized in Boulder, Colorado ...

Diamond shines in molecular dynamics simulations ...

The Cloud

Oracle Cloud Platform expands to help more organisations build and deploy high-performance applications ...

Altair to offer HPC Cloud solutions on Oracle Cloud Platform ...

Oracle buys Apiary ...

Oracle expands Cloud services globally with three new regions in North America and EMEA ...

HPE to acquire SimpliVity and expand leadership in growing hybrid IT industry ...

U.S. Army enlists IBM for $62 million Cloud deal ...

Nanyang Technological University and German scientists turn memory chips into processors to speed up computing tasks


ReRAM Computing Circuit is under the microscopes. Credit: Wonjoo Kim, Peter Grünberg Institut 7, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH.
3 Jan 2017 Singapore, Jülich - A team of international scientists have found a way to make memory chips perform computing tasks, which is traditionally done by computer processors like those made by Intel and Qualcomm. This means data could now be processed in the same spot where it is stored, leading to much faster and thinner mobile devices and computers.

This new computing circuit was developed by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) in collaboration with Germany's RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Juelich, one of the largest interdisciplinary research centres in Europe.

It is built using state-of-the-art memory chips known as Redox-based resistive switching random access memory (ReRAM). Developed by global chipmakers such as SanDisk and Panasonic, this type of chip is one of the fastest memory modules that will soon be available commercially.

However, instead of storing information, NTU Assistant Professor Anupam Chattopadhyay in collaboration with Professor Rainer Waser from RWTH Aachen University and Dr. Vikas Rana from Forschungszentrum Juelich showed how ReRAM can also be used to process data.

This discovery was published recently in Scientific Reports , a peer-reviewed journal under the prestigious Nature Publishing Group.

Current devices and computers have to transfer data from the memory storage to the processor unit for computation, while the new NTU circuit saves time and energy by eliminating these data transfers.

It can also boost the speed of current processors found in laptops and mobile devices by at least two times or more.

By making the memory chip perform computing tasks, space can be saved by eliminating the processor, leading to thinner, smaller and lighter electronics. The discovery could also lead to new design possibilities for consumer electronics and wearable technology.

Currently, all computer processors in the market are using the binary system, which is composed of two states - either 0 or 1. For example, the letter A will be processed and stored as 01000001, an 8-bit character.

However, the prototype ReRAM circuit built by Assistant Professor Chattopadhyay and his collaborators processes data in four states instead of two. For example, it can store and process data as 0, 1, 2, or 3, known as Ternary number system.

Because ReRAM uses different electrical resistance to store information, it could be possible to store the data in an even higher number of states, hence speeding up computing tasks beyond current limitations.

Assistant Professor Chattopadhyay who is from NTU's School of Computer Science and Engineering, said in current computer systems, all information has to be translated into a string of zeros and ones before it can be processed.

"This is like having a long conversation with someone through a tiny translator, which is a time-consuming and effort-intensive process", he explained. "We are now able to increase the capacity of the translator, so it can process data more efficiently."

The quest for faster processing is one of the most pressing needs for industries worldwide, as computer software is getting increasingly complex while data centres have to deal with more information than ever.

The researchers said that using ReRAM for computing will be more cost-effective than other computing technologies on the horizon, since ReRAMs will be available in the market soon.

Professor Waser stated: "ReRAM is a versatile non-volatile memory concept. These devices are energy-efficient, fast, and they can be scaled to very small dimensions. Using them not only for data storage but also for computation could open a completely new route towards an effective use of energy in the information technology."

The excellent properties of ReRAM like its long-term storage capacity, low energy usage and ability to be produced at the nanoscale level have drawn many semiconductor companies to invest in researching this promising technology.

The research team is now looking to engage industry partners to leverage this important advance of ReRAM-based ternary computing.

Moving forward, the researchers will also work on developing the ReRAM to process more than its current four states, which will lead to great improvements of computing speeds as well as to test its performance in actual computing scenarios.

Source: Nanyang Technological University

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-01-23

Exascale supercomputing

China plans to develop powerful exascale computer ...

HiPEAC Vision 2017 finds it is 'time to reinvent computing' ...

Richard Gerber tapped to oversee NERSC's High Performance Computing Department ...

NERSC's first 'NESAP for Data' teams hit the ground running ...

ORNL plays key role in Exascale Computing Project's first year ...

Quantum computing

Seeing the quantum future... literally ...

Focus on Europe

At the vanguard of European computing systems: HiPEAC17 ...

PRACE to offer MOOCs via Future Learn ...

PRACE Summer of HPC 2017 opens for applications ...

Hardware

Hartree Centre to take delivery of powerful new generation supercomputer ...

Indiana University and international partners light 100G transatlantic link over Aqua Comms' AEConnect subsea cable ...

Nanyang Technological University and German scientists turn memory chips into processors to speed up computing tasks ...

Graphene's sleeping superconductivity awakens ...

Supercomputer market to be driven by the development of smart cities through 2021, says Technavio ...

DDN and China-based Inspur sign landmark HPC joint sales and marketing agreement ...

GW4 joins industry partners to develop 'first of its kind' supercomputer ...

Automotive safety hypervisor announced for ARM Cortex-R52 ...

Eastern Mediterranean spurred on by EUMEDCONNECT3 project extension and Lebanon capacity upgrade ...

Applications

King Faisal Prize for Würzburg physicist ...

Largest Populus SNP dataset holds promise for biofuels, materials, and metabolites ...

Glass's off-kilter harmonies: New modelling method focuses attention on amorphous material's unusual vibrational modes ...

Basel physicist Daniel Loss receives the King Faisal International Prize ...

Protein research: the computer as microscope ...

Teaching computers to recognize unhealthy guts ...

2017 International Summer School on HPC Challenges in Computational Sciences to be organized in Boulder, Colorado ...

Diamond shines in molecular dynamics simulations ...

The Cloud

Oracle Cloud Platform expands to help more organisations build and deploy high-performance applications ...

Altair to offer HPC Cloud solutions on Oracle Cloud Platform ...

Oracle buys Apiary ...

Oracle expands Cloud services globally with three new regions in North America and EMEA ...

HPE to acquire SimpliVity and expand leadership in growing hybrid IT industry ...

U.S. Army enlists IBM for $62 million Cloud deal ...