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Chaos Could Be Used to Continue Moore's Law

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 11:33AM

For decades now the increase in computational power has been increasing at roughly the rate predicted by Moore's Law, but that is going to come to an end as we hit the fundamental limits of the materials and technologies being used. Many new approaches to computing are being developed so we can get around those limits, and researchers at North Carolina State University have come up with a fairly novel one. This new method use nonlinear circuits to exploit chaos such that fewer circuits and transistors are needed to perform a task.

Modern computer chips are tightly packed with a great number of transistors and circuits, and typically a lot of them are not put to use at the same time as the rest. This is because some circuits have been designed to perform specific tasks, and so for other tasks they are not useful. This new solution is to create nonlinear circuits that contain a number of different patterns, and each pattern is for a different function. By taking advantage of the system's natural chaos, the same circuit can be made to do multiple functions, and can switch from one function to another with each clock cycle. This means that potentially just hundreds of these circuits could match the performance of hundreds of thousands of traditional circuits.

As if the potential for tremendously greater performance in a smaller package were not enough, these nonlinear circuits, which are compatible with other digital devices, can be fabricated with modern technologies. The researchers are approaching commercial size, power, and ease of programming with their designs, so we may see some more news on in the coming months.

Source: North Carolina State University

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