EE 290 Graduate Seminar: Future Microsystems for Information Processing: Limits and Lessons from the Living Systems

Photo of Dr. Victor Zhirnov
Photo of Dr. Victor Zhirnov
Speaker Name: 
Dr. Victor Zhirnov
Speaker Title: 
Chief Scientist
Speaker Organization: 
Semiconductor Research Corporation
Start Time: 
Monday, June 4, 2018 - 10:40am
End Time: 
Monday, June 4, 2018 - 11:40am
Location: 
E2-194
Organizer: 
Assistant Professor Yu Zhang

Abstract: The presentation will address the impact of the physics of extremely scaledinformation processing devices and systems, with a focus on energy minimization. The fundamental limiting factors for electronic information processors are: 1) the tunneling limit on the minimal size due to small mass of electrons, 2) excessive energy consumption in metal wires used for rigid interconnect systems, and 3) heat generation in a small volume. There are also proposals for alternative future information processing technologies based on information carriers other than electrons, however the potential for using them in future ICT systems remains unclear. In the second part of the presentation, entirely new information processingconcepts are discussed based on learning from examples in nature, specifically, the individual living cell will be considered in the context of information processing. In the paper, a bacterial cell, such as E.coli of about one cubic micrometer volume is shown to be a very efficient and powerful information processor, far surpassing conceivable performance in the same volume by an ultimately scaled semiconductor system. Advances in the science of synthetic biology are beginning to suggest possible pathways for future information processing technologies. It might be possible that some of the physical limits faced by semiconductor technology may in fact be overcome by borrowing from system and synthetic biology principles. The presentation will address the impact of the physics of extremely scaled

information processing devices and systems, with a focus on energy minimiza

tion.

The fundamental limiting factors for electronic information processors ar

e: 1) the

tunneling limit on the minimal size due to small mass of electrons, 2) excess

ive

energy consumption in metal wires used for rigid interconnect systems, and 3) h

eat

generation in a small volume. There are also proposals for alternati

ve future

information processing technologies based on information carriers other than

electrons, however the potential for using them in future ICT system

s remains

unclear.

In the second part of the presentation, entirely new information processing

concepts are discussed based on learning from examples in nature, specifical

ly, the

individual living cell will be considered in the context of information processing. I

n

the paper, a bacterial cell, such as

E.coli

of about one cubic micrometer volume is

shown to be a very efficient and powerful information processor, far su

rpassing

conceivable performance in the same volume by an ultimately scaled semiconducto

r

system. Advances in the science of synthetic biology are beginning to suggest

possible pathways for future information processing technologies. It m

ight be

possible that some of the physical limits faced by semiconductor technology ma

y in

fact be overcome by borrowing from system and synthetic biology prin

ciples.