doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.57 Published online 29 April 2010
Researchers have designed a silicon-based nanomechanical device that opens up the possibility of novel computers.
The researchers fabricated the nano device (resonator) from a single-crystal silicon using standard e-beam lithography and surface nanomachining. The device has a doubly clamped beam with two adjacent electrodes.
A high-frequency voltage is applied to one of the electrodes to drive the device. The logic values 1 and 0 are represented by high and low level of each of the inputs. When these signals are added, they give rise to three different voltage levels depending on the logic value.
The device not only enables a path toward an alternative architecture beyond the limit to which current microprocessors can be scaled but also provides a fundamental building block for alternate computing schemes apart from the straightforward swap-in with the conventional logic gates. For instance, noise-assisted nanomechanical logic elements can be used for direct and controlled computing, the researchers say.
The authors of this work are from: Department of Physics, Boston University, Massachusetts, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, California & School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, US; Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai & Physics Department, Anna University, Chennai, India.