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New 3D Chip Combines Computing and Data Storage


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Instead of relying on silicon-based devices, a new chip uses carbon nanotubes and resistive random-access memory cells.

Researchers at Stanford University and MIT have built a new chip that uses uses carbon nanotubes and resistive random-access memory cells.

Credit: MIT News

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University have developed a new computer chip integrating carbon nanotubes and resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cells.

The two are constructed vertically atop one another, yielding a dense three-dimensional computer architecture with interleaving layers of logic and memory.

MIT professor Max Shulaker says the nanotube circuits and RRAM memory can be fabricated at temperatures below 200 degrees Celsius, and "can be built up in layers without harming the circuits beneath."

The researchers say the new chip offers logic that is an order of magnitude more energy efficient compared to silicon-fabricated logic, while RRAM can be denser, faster, and more energy efficient versus dynamic RAM. In addition, ultradense wires between the layers promise to tackle the communications bottleneck.

The team's demonstration involved more than 1 million nanotube sensors on the chip's top layer, and the device measured each of the sensors in parallel, and then wrote directly into its memory.

From MIT News
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