Head-spinning chip research at UCLA

Bill O'Reilly's got the No Spin Zone. Engineers at the UCLA have a Nano Spin Zone.

Three professors have created nanoscale semiconductors that use "spin-wave buses" as a virtual interconnect. The researchers believe that the creation of these "spin-wave" nano-packets can be used to build a fully interconnected network of processors on a single chip.

Traditional information processing technology devices simply move electric charges around while ignoring the extra spin that tags along for the ride. But these so-called spin-wave buses put the extra motion to work transferring data or power between computer components.

Even better, information can be encoded directly into the phase of the spin waves. And unlike a point-to-point connection, a "spin-wave bus" can logically connect several peripherals without wires.

Breakthroughs like the "spin-wave bus" will be important as the semiconductor industry reaches the end of the line with current CMOS technology.

The next big leap in computer chip technology will come from nanotechnology, which allows scientists to manipulate matter at the molecular level to create tiny, powerful devices.

UCLA's spin-wave pioneers are adjunct professor Mary Mehrnoosh Eshaghian-Wilner, professor Kang Wang, researcher Alexander Khitun and graduate researcher Roman Ostroumov.

For the latest on network-oriented research at university and other labs, go to Network World's Alpha Doggs blog (http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=alphadoggs).

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