- Quantum Supremacy? - Google’s quantum tech milestone excites scientists and spurs rivals.
- Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap - Industry consortium SEMI announces new 15-year roadmap for electronic packaging and systems.
- Low-energy alternative to Bitcoin? - New financial algorithms are secure but much more energy-efficient than blockchains.
- Carbon Nanotube Microprocessor - 16-bit programmable processor based on 3D integrated circuit including 15,000 transistors.
- Moore’s Law for Circuit Density is Continuing - Smaller circuits and 3D integration may enable growth in density for 30 years.
- Artificial Intelligence Roadmap Released by Computing Community Consortium - Project key areas of collaborative research over next 20 years in academia, industry, and government.
- Secure Computer Architectures - Special Issue of IEEE Micro Magazine
- Wafer-Scale Fabrication of 3D Carbon Nanotube Chips - Integrated with RRAM memory arrays
- Processing in Memory to Reduce Power - Non-von-Neumann architecture could be key to low-power machine learning.
- Photonic Neural Network - Researchers in Germany and UK demonstrate pattern recognition in all-optical chip.
- Microsoft Open Source Quantum Computing Software - Q# language and quantum development kit enable programming quantum simulators.
- Intel’s View of the Chiplet Revolution - Packaging of multiple chiplets with high-speed interconnects to enhance performance, density, and reliability.
- Ion-Based Quantum Computing - New company IonQ uses integrated traps of single ions, linked by laser beams, without requiring cryogenic cooling.
IRDS™ Roadmap Executive Summary
The International Roadmap for Devices and Systems™ issued its latest roadmap report, projecting the next 15-20 years of electronic devices, circuits, and systems.
Moore’s Law scaling has been based on packing more transistors on a chip. While traditional 2D scaling is saturating, 3D scaling of vertical transistors will enable continued increase in transistor density and system performance for another 20 years. IRDS™ is projecting how this scaling will continue through the electronics and computer industry internationally, and implications for a variety of applications such as IoT, mobile, cloud, 5G, medical and automotive systems. A new focus for this year is on Cryogenic Electronics and Quantum Information Processing. For next year, a new focus will be on artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).
IRDS™ is sponsored by IEEE Rebooting Computing and IEEE Standards Association, as well as SINANO Institute in Europe, the System Device Roadmap Committee of Japan (SDRJ), and the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI).
Access the IRDS™ Roadmap. The complete report has many chapters, but an overview is available via the Executive Summary. Note that while the Roadmap documents are available free of charge, users must register for the IRDS™ Technical Community.
Digital Annealer Chip for Optimization Problems
“Quantum-inspired” computing using custom CMOS chip at room temperature
There has been considerable attention in recent years to a superconducting quantum computer specially designed for solving combinatorial optimization problems using “quantum annealing”. But quantum annealing is a variant of simulated annealing, which is a well-known method for solving similar optimization problems using a classical digital computer. However, a standard microprocessor is not configured to solve such a problem efficiently, particularly when the data set becomes very large. A custom architecture with distributed memory and parallelism might be much faster.
With that in mind, Fujitsu developed a “digital annealing unit” (DAU), a custom CMOS chip with an architecture designed to address large-scale optimization problems more efficiently. This has been called “quantum-inspired”, but it is really a standard CMOS chip similar to an FPGA. The first-generation digital annealer chip was introduced last year, and was described in IEEE Spectrum. The second-generation chip, for somewhat larger data sets, was introduced recently.
In comparison, D-Wave Systems is selling an alternative Quantum Annealer based around a superconducting chip cooled to -273 C. The latest generation of this quantum annealer is described in Communications of the ACM. While a quantum annealer may in principle solve problems much faster than a classical annealer, this advantage has not yet been convincingly demonstrated in real systems.
Whether these systems are quantum or “quantum-inspired”, they provide novel processors for future Big Data problems.
- 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