Posted in | MEMS - NEMS

Collaborative Consortium Receives Grant to Build Fully Functioning NEM Relay-Based Processor

Using a €2.44 million European Commission grant, a collaborative consortium aims to develop a first-of-its-kind fully functional nano-electro-mechanical (NEM) relay-based processor with unprecedented energy efficiency.

"Curved cantilever design for a robust and scalable microelectromechanical switch," in Proc. 56th Int. Conf. Electron, Ion, and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication, Hawaii, 2012 (Image by D. Grogg et al, IBM)

This level of energy efficiency is not possible by transistor implementations because of limitations in basic material and structure. This puts a ceiling on the use of transistors in ultra-low power applications. The Nano-Electro-Mechanical Integration and Computation (NEMIAC) project will explore the NEM relay technology to develop digital integrated circuits for use in ultra-low power computing applications.

The members of the consortium participating in the project include University of Bristol, Lancaster University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Royal Institute of Technology Sweden, STMicroelectronics and IBM Zurich.

Dr Dinesh Pamunuwa, In-Charge of the project’s communication and Reader in Microelectronics at the University of Bristol’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, informed that NEM relays have a high on-current, an unexpected turn-on transient, and virtually zero leakage and allow integration with CMOS at the wafer or die level, making them potential contenders for implementing digital logic in ultra-low power applications. The development of a fully functional NEM relay-based processor will enable the use of electro-mechanical switches as fundamental building blocks, which in turn will help realize a fully mechanical calculator originally proposed by Babbage 200 years ago.

The NEM logic technology’s long-term potential is to facilitate the development of ultra-low power smart systems with energy harvesting capability, thus enabling a new range of applications that operate continuously, remotely, autonomously and devoid of battery.

This work underpins IBM's vision of ‘smarter cities,’ where in-situ processing and control and ubiquitous sensing support a city’s essential infrastructure such as transport, healthcare, energy and utilities, safety and retail.

Source: http://www.bristol.ac.uk

Will Soutter

Written by

Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Soutter, Will. (2019, February 11). Collaborative Consortium Receives Grant to Build Fully Functioning NEM Relay-Based Processor. AZoNano. Retrieved on October 16, 2019 from https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25624.

  • MLA

    Soutter, Will. "Collaborative Consortium Receives Grant to Build Fully Functioning NEM Relay-Based Processor". AZoNano. 16 October 2019. <https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25624>.

  • Chicago

    Soutter, Will. "Collaborative Consortium Receives Grant to Build Fully Functioning NEM Relay-Based Processor". AZoNano. https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25624. (accessed October 16, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Soutter, Will. 2019. Collaborative Consortium Receives Grant to Build Fully Functioning NEM Relay-Based Processor. AZoNano, viewed 16 October 2019, https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25624.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Submit