- Patterson and Hennessey win Turing Award for RISC Processors - Approach developed in 1980s still dominates modern microprocessors.
- IARPA program on Molecular Information Storage - New US government research program in nanoscale data storage and retrieval, including biological systems.
- Stochastic Computing in a Single Device - Minnesota researchers demonstrate magnetic tunnel junction which processes logic using random bits.
- Continuing progress internationally in moving toward exascale computers - Approaches to reduce power requirements include improved memory architectures and GPUs.
- Microsoft Announces Quantum Development Kit - Microsoft has publicly released a Quantum Development Kit, a software environment for developing applications of quantum computing.
- Green500 Drives Power Efficiency for Exascale - List of most power efficient supercomputers shows continued improvement in Gigaflops/Watt.
- In-Memory Computing Demonstrated using Phase-Change Memories - IBM researchers demonstrated accelerated machine learning in PCM memory array.
- Next-Generation Resistive RAM being developed - ReRAMs are fast non-volatile switches for memories and neural networks.
Quantum Computers Strive to Break Out of the Lab
A new feature article in IEEE Spectrum reviews the past, present, and future of quantum computing, which has received much attention in the last year. The main conclusion is that while small quantum computing circuits made of fewer than 100 quantum bits (“qubits”) have been demonstrated, their practical near-term utility is severely limited, and this is likely to remain the case for at least the next few years. In the near future, these quantum systems may be used to model other small quantum systems, such as small clusters of atoms and molecules.
A key problem is that these quantum systems are extremely sensitive to thermal and electrical noise, and will require a very large overhead of quantum error correction circuits, which are themselves composed of noise-sensitive qubits. Furthermore, most experts in the field view the eventual larger quantum computing systems as special purpose accelerators to be used together with classical computers, rather than as general-purpose replacements for classical computers.
The article also presents some examples of current quantum computing circuits, using superconducting and coupled ion technologies. These are being developed by such computing giants as IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Intel, as well as smaller companies such as IonQ, Rigetti, and D-Wave, and university and government laboratory teams.
For further details, see the article in IEEE Spectrum here.
“Technology for the Next 20-30 Years and Beyond,” by Greg Yeric, ARM Research, Austin, Texas
Dr. Yeric, ARM Fellow, was one of the invited speakers at the 2017 IEEE Industry Summit on the Future of Computing, held in Tysons Corner, VA, Nov. 10, 2017, as part of Rebooting Computing Week. Dr. Yeric focused on projections for the next 20-30 years of semiconductor device technology. For the next dozen years, traditional Moore’s Law scaling can continue with 3D stacking and integration of new memories with logic. However, looking further ahead, new materials and device technologies will be required, which can operate at much lower voltages and power levels. These may include 2D materials, such as graphene and molybdenum disulfide, and new low-power switches and wiring technologies. The key challenge is how to integrate these radical new technologies with silicon, so as to be available when they are needed before 2030. The semiconductor industry needs to identify these future technologies now, in order to develop the manufacturing techniques and circuit and system design tools for the future.
The talk by Dr. Yeric is available here.
Other talks from the 2017 Industry Summit and the co-located ICRC are available here.
- Rebooting Computing Video Overview
- IEEE Future Directions
- ICRC 2018 Call for Papers
- 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
- TTM 2016 Videos
- 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