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Nano-Electro-Mechanical Integration And Computation (NEMIAC)
Start date: Sep 1, 2011, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description NEMIAC aims to replace CMOS switches with a new digital logic technology based on nano-electromechanical (NEM) switches, which can be integrated with CMOS processing to provide low power processors.The first fully electronic vacuum tube based computer ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator) consumed 200 kW of power. Since then power consumption has become the major bottleneck in state-of-the-art microelectronic technology as leakage power is approaching dynamic power in nanometer technologies. This is particularly an issue for emerging applications for smart components such as autonomous sensor nodes, wireless communications devices, and novel mobile computers which all require logic circuits with dramatically improved energy efficiency. The NEMIAC (Nano-Electro-Mechanical Integration And Computation) project proposes a solution to this challenge based on nano-electromechanical (NEM) switches with practically zero leakage, abrupt switching and high on-current suitable for stand-alone embedded systems as well as 3-D integration with CMOS. The potential benefits of a mature technology are an order of magnitude improvement in energy efficiency with no performance penalty in a variety of processing applications, and radiation-resistant and higher temperature operation than CMOS. Within NEMIAC, NEM switches suitable for digital logic design will be explored and developed, along with innovative circuit architectures for low power smart components and smart systems applications. The new switches will have a footprint below 3μm×3μm and targeted switching times of the order of 10 ns. Functional logic blocks based on NEM relays will then be implemented. Design and simulation methodologies will be developed for the new mechanical logic elements and used to explore the design-space for the target applications and demonstrate a small microprocessor.

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