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Primeur weekly 2011-11-28

The Cloud

Shipping company signs $150 million-plus data centre services agreement with HP ...

Chinese genomics giant BGI releases latest bioinformatics software and datasets ...

New EMC Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform enhancements simplify delivery of Cloud Storage-as-a-Service - fully functional in minutes ...

UniCredit Global Information Systems S.p.A. Global Markets & Treasury selects Platform Computing to deliver a private Cloud environment ...

Adaptive Computing joins forces with SGI to deliver robust HPC and Cloud solutions ...

Fujitsu simplifies and unifies Cloud management with new ServerView Resource Orchestrator V3 ...

EMC OnDemand brings Captiva, Document Sciences and Documentum to the hybrid Cloud ...

UniCredit Global Information Systems S.p.A. Global Markets & Treasury selects Platform Computing to deliver a private Cloud environment ...

Desktop Grids

CERN has 2020 vision for LHC upgrade ...

Mersenne@home launched as new BOINC project ...

New Stanford software takes Folding@home's biological research to supercomputers ...

EuroFlash

projectiondesign launches 2nd Generation LED projector, the FL35 wqxga ...

PRACE awards 91 million processor core hours on the DECI call to 35 projects, new call open ...

Numascale, IBM and the University of Oslo together in European PRACE project for emerging technology ...

EMI 1 Update 10 now available ...

Fujitsu launches Hybrid Cloud Services for Microsoft Windows Azure customers ...

The impending revolution of low-power quantum computers ...

USFlash

K computer research results awarded ACM Gordon Bell Prize ...

Cray enters the integrated storage market ...

Adaptive Computing rocks the enterprise with new Moab HPC Suite - Enterprise Edition ...

3 DOE labs now connected with ultra-high speed network ...

Rankings released for supercomputers doing big data ...

NVIDIA Tesla GPUs again power world's greenest Petaflop supercomputer ...

Researchers get $7.5 million grant to combat nerve agents ...

K computer no. 1 in four benchmarks at HPC Challenge Awards ...

Whamcloud and Fujitsu to collaborate on Lustre development ...

SGI customers accelerate research efforts with new AMD Opteron 6200 series processors ...

HP to transform server market with single platform for mission-critical computing ...

EMC expands "no compromise" storage for High Performance Computing at SC11 ...

The impending revolution of low-power quantum computers

22 Nov 2011 Lausanne - By 2017, quantum physics will help reduce the energy consumption of our computers and cellular phones by up to a factor of 100. For research and industry, the power consumption of transistors is a key issue. The next revolution will likely come from tunnel-FET, a technology that takes advantage of a phenomenon referred to as "quantum tunneling", At the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), but also in the laboratories of IBM Zurich and the CEA-Leti in France, research is well underway. As part of a special issue ofNaturedevoted to silicon, Adrian Ionescu, an EPFL researcher, has written an article on the topic.

Today's computers have no less than a billion transistors in the CPU alone. These small switches that turn on and off provide the famous binary instructions, the 0s and 1s that let us send e-mails, watch videos, move the mouse pointer, and much more. The technology used in today's transistors is called "field effect"; whereby voltage induces an electron channel that activates the transistor. But field effect technology is approaching its limits, particularly in terms of power consumption.

Tunnel-FET technology is based on a fundamentally different principle. In the transistor, two chambers are separated by an energy barrier. In the first, a horde of electrons awaits while the transistor is deactivated. When voltage is applied, they cross the energy barrier and move into the second chamber, activating the transistor in so doing.

In the past, the tunnel effect was known to disrupt the operation of transistors. According to quantum theory, some electrons cross the barrier, even if they apparently don't have enough energy to do so. By reducing the width of this barrier, it becomes possible to amplify and take advantage of the quantum effect - the energy needed for the electrons to cross the barrier is drastically reduced, as is power consumption in standby mode.

"By replacing the principle of the conventional field effect transistor by the tunnel effect, one can reduce the voltage of transistors from 1 volt to 0.2 volts", explained Adrian Ionescu. In practical terms, this decrease in electrical tension will reduce power consumption by up to a factor of 100. The new generation microchips will combine conventional and tunnel-FET technology. "The current prototypes by IBM and the CEA-Leti have been developed in a pre-industrial setting. We can reasonably expect to see mass production by around 2017."

For Adrian Ionescu, who heads the Guardian Angels project - a project vetted for a billion Euro grant from the EU, tunnel-FET technology is without a doubt the next big technological leap in the field of microprocessors. "In the Guardian Angels project, one of our objectives is to find solutions to reduce the power consumption of processors. Tunnel-FET is the next revolution that will help us achieve this goal." The aim: design ultra-miniaturized, zero-power electronic personal assistants. Tunnel-FET technology is one of the first major stages in the project's roadmap. IBM and the CEA-Leti are also partners in the project.

The article inNatureis titled "Tunnel field-effect transistors as energy-efficient electronic switches" and can be accessed at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7373/full/nature10679.html
Source: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2011-11-28

The Cloud

Shipping company signs $150 million-plus data centre services agreement with HP ...

Chinese genomics giant BGI releases latest bioinformatics software and datasets ...

New EMC Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform enhancements simplify delivery of Cloud Storage-as-a-Service - fully functional in minutes ...

UniCredit Global Information Systems S.p.A. Global Markets & Treasury selects Platform Computing to deliver a private Cloud environment ...

Adaptive Computing joins forces with SGI to deliver robust HPC and Cloud solutions ...

Fujitsu simplifies and unifies Cloud management with new ServerView Resource Orchestrator V3 ...

EMC OnDemand brings Captiva, Document Sciences and Documentum to the hybrid Cloud ...

UniCredit Global Information Systems S.p.A. Global Markets & Treasury selects Platform Computing to deliver a private Cloud environment ...

Desktop Grids

CERN has 2020 vision for LHC upgrade ...

Mersenne@home launched as new BOINC project ...

New Stanford software takes Folding@home's biological research to supercomputers ...

EuroFlash

projectiondesign launches 2nd Generation LED projector, the FL35 wqxga ...

PRACE awards 91 million processor core hours on the DECI call to 35 projects, new call open ...

Numascale, IBM and the University of Oslo together in European PRACE project for emerging technology ...

EMI 1 Update 10 now available ...

Fujitsu launches Hybrid Cloud Services for Microsoft Windows Azure customers ...

The impending revolution of low-power quantum computers ...

USFlash

K computer research results awarded ACM Gordon Bell Prize ...

Cray enters the integrated storage market ...

Adaptive Computing rocks the enterprise with new Moab HPC Suite - Enterprise Edition ...

3 DOE labs now connected with ultra-high speed network ...

Rankings released for supercomputers doing big data ...

NVIDIA Tesla GPUs again power world's greenest Petaflop supercomputer ...

Researchers get $7.5 million grant to combat nerve agents ...

K computer no. 1 in four benchmarks at HPC Challenge Awards ...

Whamcloud and Fujitsu to collaborate on Lustre development ...

SGI customers accelerate research efforts with new AMD Opteron 6200 series processors ...

HP to transform server market with single platform for mission-critical computing ...

EMC expands "no compromise" storage for High Performance Computing at SC11 ...