MIND to host workshop on computer architectures

by William G. Gilroy

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The Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery (MIND) will hold a workshop titled “Architectures for Post-CMOS Switches” on Aug. 18 (Tuesday) at 8 a.m. in the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall.

Led by Notre Dame, MIND is a research consortium designed to discover and develop the next nanoscale logic device, which will be the basic building block of future computer technology.

The one-day workshop will examine how emerging post CMOS switches studied in the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) of the Semiconductor Research Corporation can be used most effectively in design. “Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor” (CMOS) is the most widely used type of semiconductor.

The event will seek to motivate and inspire researchers to identify logic functions accelerated in computing hardware by idiosyncrasy in specific post CMOS devices. New computing switch architectures may solve problems that CMOS either cannot address or attempts to do so in a most cumbersome way. The workshop also will include an interim readout of the NRI emerging switches architecture benchmarking effort.

In collaboration with NRI and with support from the state of Indiana and the city of South Bend, the MIND consortium also includes Purdue University, the University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan, Argonne National Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

Notre Dame is at the forefront of research in the field of computer architectures. Its Center for Nano Science and Technology, established in 1999, explores the fundamental concepts of nanoscience in order to develop unique engineering applications using nano principles. The center is composed of a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Physics.

University researchers Wolfgang Porod and Craig S. Lent are co-inventors of Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata, a transistorless approach that does not rely on flowing electrons to transmit a signal, so no electric current is produced and heat problems are avoided. This approach, along with devices based on quantum-mechanical tunneling, spin and nonequilibrium carrier distributions, comprise the research and development focus of MIND.

Porod, Notre Dame’s Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Kerry Bernstein of Applied Research Associates are organizers of the workshop. MIND, Notre Dame, SRC’s NRI and the National Science Foundation are sponsoring the event.

Contact: Wolfgang Porod, 574-631-6376, porod@nd.edu