- RAND Study Advocates Post-Quantum Cryptography - New report proposes development of communication security protocols that are more resistant against future quantum computers.
- Silicon Spin Qubits Demonstrated - Researchers fabricate silicon quantum dots that can operate at temperatures above 1 K.
- DoE issues report on AI for Science - Argonne National Laboratory summarizes town hall meetings on AI, big data, and high performance computing in the next decade.
- Roadmap for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors - IEEE Power Electronics Society releases Roadmap on development of ICs of GaN and SiC for high-power applications.
- New faster parallel optimization algorithm implemented on FPGAs and GPUs - Toshiba sees applications to financial engineering.
- New project on DNA-based memory technology - Collaboration between Georgia Tech, Microsoft, University of Washington, and others.
- Princeton Quantum Initiative - New interdisciplinary program in quantum computing at Princeton University
- International Race to Demonstrate First Exascale Computer - China, US, EU, and Japan competing, with China’s entry possible in 2020.
- Neural Network Processor for Machine Learning - Intel announces new commercial AI chips for training and inference.
- Quantum Information Edge - New consortium on quantum computing led by US National Laboratories, with universities and industry.
A Density Metric for Semiconductor Technology
Access the article by H.S. Philip Wong, et al. in Proceedings of the IEEE, April 2020.
Researchers from Stanford, UC Berkeley, MIT, and Taiwan Semiconductor propose that a new metric is needed to track the scaling of transistors, beyond the traditional single metric of gate length. This should focus on functional parameters of circuit density, but which circuits? The authors propose a metric consisting of 3 parameters: logic density DL, memory density DM, and interconnect density DC. These densities can be measured in devices per square millimeter on a chip, so that they can properly characterize the newer 3D integrated circuits that can include multiple layers of logic and memory, sometimes on the same chip. The interconnects link the processor to the main memory, and represent a bottleneck for system performance, so that DC needs to increase as well. For example, one might have a system with [DL, DM, DC] = [40M, 400M, 10K].
Expressed in this way, semiconductor roadmaps can continue to project the future development of high-performance circuits into at least the next decade.
A brief overview of this article is provided by IEEE Spectrum.
The Future of Computing: Bits + Neurons + Qubits
Dr. Dario Gil, Director of Research, IBM
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco, California, USA in February, Dr. Dario Gil of IBM gave an overview of how IBM sees the future of computing. He projects parallel advances in three technologies: conventional processors (“bits”), neural networks for AI (“neurons”), and quantum processors (“qubits”). Rather than any one of these technologies becoming dominant, he predicts major performance advances in all three, with heterogeneous systems incorporating two or more of these addressing critical problems in the computing environment, integrating cloud and edge computing. Near-term applications of quantum computing may be in quantum simulations for materials development, but longer term advances in AI are possible in combination with bits and neurons.
Access the video of Dr. Gil’s presentation.
Access a companion article in the ISSCC 2020 Proceedings.
A preprint of this article is also available.
Several other plenary talks from ISSCC 2020 are available.
- Rebooting Computing Video Overview
- IEEE Future Directions
- Computing in Science and Engineering on the End of Moore's Law
- IEEE Journal of Exploratory Solid-State Computational Devices and Circuits (JXCDC)
- Arch2030 Workshop Report
- Workshop on Neuromorphic Computing
- Workshop on Beyond CMOS Technology
- Update on National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI)
- RC White Paper on Nanocomputers
- IEEE Computer Magazine on Rebooting Computing
- RC-ITRS Report on the Foundation of the New Computer Industry Beyond 2020