CeNSE researchers develop energy-efficient computing platform

CeNSE researchers develop energy-efficient computing platform

Researchers from the Center for Nano Science and Engineering say the energy-efficient computing platform could help make next-generation electronic devices

Researchers from the Center for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), Indian Institute of Science, here, have developed a power-efficient computing platform which they say holds promise in building next-generation electronic devices.

The massive growth of data centers that consume huge amounts of energy has contributed significantly to power shortages around the world, the IISc noted. With the growing demand for faster and smarter computers and devices, there is an urgent need to develop alternatives to traditional electronic components that will make these devices more energy efficient, he said.

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Instead of using complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) that are the building blocks of most electronic circuits today, the research team used components called memristors that can both store data and perform calculations. By designing unique memristors based on metal-organic complexes, the team could reduce the number of components needed in a circuit, dramatically increasing speed and efficiency, according to a statement from IISc. “We have now discovered a molecular circuit element capable of capturing complex logic functions into itself, facilitating in-memory calculations in fewer time slots and using far fewer elements than usual,” says Sreetosh Goswami, assistant professor at CeNSE, who led the two recent studies published in “Advanced Materials”.

Existing IT architectures process and store data in separate physical locations. Round-trip communication between two locations consumes the lion’s share of computing power. “We solve this problem by having both compute and storage in the same physical location,” he says. The platform “outperforms” current cutting-edge technologies by orders of magnitude, Goswami adds. “We are (now) able to create more robust, consistent and stable device arrays, even compared to commercial technologies such as flash memories.”

Circuits based on previously developed memristors also suffer from speed limitations and have a greater risk of error accumulation because they perform operations sequentially. The design of the new platform reduces the number of operational steps, increases speed and reduces errors, according to the researchers.

The metal-organic complexes used to build their platform were designed by CeNSE scientist Sreebrata Goswami. “These (complexes) are like electronic sponges that can take and donate electrons for billions of cycles without degradation,” he says. By making small chemical changes — adding or replacing one or two ions in the complexes, for example — researchers might be able to adapt the same circuit to multiple functions, the statement said.

When they built circuits that perform mathematical operations and compared them to a typical CMOS circuit, the team found that the new platform offered 47 times greater power efficiency and 93 times faster operating speed. while occupying only 9% of the physical footprint.

In the future, the team plans to connect the platform to a sensor – for example, a smartphone screen that detects touch – and study how efficiently the platform processes the data it receives. collection. Santi Prasad Rath, postdoctoral fellow at CeNSE, who designed and fabricated the circuit with PhD student Deepak, adds: “In an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, this computing technology can be extremely useful. Such efforts are critical because scientists believe we will soon reach the point where CMOS technology can no longer be scaled in terms of efficiency or performance, the statement said. “This requires the invention of novel nanoscale device constructs to enable Moore’s Law over the next few decades,” says Navakanta Bhat, a CeNSE professor and expert in CMOS technologies. “The fact that an emerging molecular platform outperforms a mature technology is quite significant. This is high-stakes research that can help shape the future of our national mission in semiconductor electronics. PTI

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