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New directions in electronics/tech (Read 2866 times)
Croaker
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New directions in electronics/tech
Jan 12th, 2007, 2:02pm
 
Is there anything out there that one should be aware of that's interesting in the chip design world right now?  I read the trade mags but every company seems to be pushing out the same old incremental advances to ADCs, voltage regulators, etc.  I guess I'm asking if there are any really interesting developments that are in the early stages?  Two types of things are of interest 1) visionary stuff like Carver Mead's bio-inspired chips and 2) a new wave about to hit the market

As a chip designer, it seems easy to get caught up in the gory details of chip design, to the exclusion of what goes on at the system level as well as product trends.

It seems like there are tons of folks making big bucks on webpages of dubious technical worth and sometimes dubious commercial worth.  Am I the only one that doesn't think that creating a webpage to upload videos is worth 1.6B (youtube)???   Roll Eyes
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loose-electron
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Re: New directions in electronics/tech
Reply #1 - Feb 1st, 2007, 3:30pm
 
carbon nanotubes in interconnect looks like it may have promise.

CMOS is currently predicted to be dead at 10nm channel length, but we shall see.

mostly evolutionary at the moment. I hope to see quantum computing before I drop dead.
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Jerry Twomey
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Croaker
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Re: New directions in electronics/tech
Reply #2 - Feb 2nd, 2007, 9:34am
 
To me, that stuff is fantasy.  I don't mean it's not going to happen, but it probably won't play any role in my work.  It seems that CMOS is such a juggernaut that any interesting advances are going to be ignored unless they are totally amazing or critical.  Even if there is an amazing breakthrough, the market and applications would need a long time to develop.

As for the CMOS lifespan, it's always, and I suspect will continue to be, a 'topic to ponder' at any conference.  If I wrote for an electronics mag and couldn't think of anything to write, I'd pull out the tried and true, "Is this the end for CMOS?".

Is the FinFET considered to be traditional CMOS?  I'd say the construction and operating principles are different enough from a MOSFET to be its own device.  

It's true that nothing lasts forever and CMOS is no exception.

I don't know a lot about quantum computing.  They have a pretty good research institute devoted to that in Waterloo, ON.  It's run by one of Stephen Hawking's former students.  Honestly, the idea of doing more of what we're doing isn't that exciting to me.  Computers compute, and only in a straightforward way.  Sure, they are great tools, but I really would like to see real thinking machines that operate like human brains (but without the fuzziness).  That would be quite an achievement and I'll probably be dead long before it happens.  So, I'll just enjoy the brain I have while I can.

Realistically, I can see robots becoming the 'next PC' (i.e. commonplace and useful).  I'd definitely like to see more home automation.  In that regard, our home lives haven't changed much since the 50s.
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