From Science Fiction to Reality with Samsung Foundry

Posted on 08/07/2014 by

Kelvin Low

Sometimes, science fiction paves the way toward future technology innovation.  Take the plethora of smart watches currently hitting the consumer market today.  It wasn’t that long ago when we all wanted Inspector Gadget’s or Captain Kirk’s cool, interactive wristwatch.  Now you can listen to music, call a friend, check the weather or catch the score of your favorite sports team right from your wrist.

Today, cutting-edge research in logic chip development from IBM, Cornell and Samsung  has taken us another huge step forward in making cognitive computing a reality.  To do this, IBM researchers created something that didn’t exist before now – a new chip with a brain-inspired, non-von Neumann computer architecture including one million neurons, 256 million programmable synapses and only a miniscule 70mW of power.

To make this amazing new chip a reality, IBM and Cornell worked closely with Samsung to manufacture this 5.4B transistor chip on Samsung’s 28nm low-power  bulk CMOS logic process technology.  The combination of cutting-edge technology process, hybrid asynchronous-synchronous design methodology and a new architecture have led to a power density of 20mW/cm2, which is nearly four orders of magnitude less than today’s microprocessors.

This research project showcases the ability to design and manufacture an ultra-low-power, yet high-performance chip using the most advanced process technology available today.  Check out the full research paper on this project which has been published in Science.

So the next time Marvel Comic’s Tony Stark/Ironman cooks up a linear accelerator in his basement with the help of his trusty computer sidekick, Jarvis, perhaps having computer generated-assistance in everyday life is not so far-fetched.

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