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Reconfiguring It Out


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A traditional computer circuit board.

Said Chenyun Pan, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, “The promising preliminary result is for a relatively small-scale circuit.”

Credit: Harland Quarrington/U.K. Ministry of Defence/Wikimedia Commons

With emerging, quantum-based logic gates and transistors, engineers will continue to shrink computer hardware and boost power and efficiency, even after traditional semiconductor technologies reach their scaling limits.

Traditional logic-gate devices are tiny switches, the building blocks of computer circuitry. Each receives two inputs and responds with an output of either "on" or "off."

The new devices also act as traditional logic gates but are so novel that they will let circuits alternate between tasks. "Those new devices have new features, like reconfigurability, compared to traditional devices," says Chenyun Pan, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. "For example, some of the spintronic devices or multigate transistors have more terminals, allowing them to be reconfigured to different logic functionalities with a very compact area. We want to utilize those new features and put them into a circuit and system so we can improve the area and energy efficiency of the computation."

From ASCR Discovery
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