Hajimiri Delivers a Talk on Design at the End of Moore’s Law at University of Washington.
Abstract: Today’s transistors have evolved rapidly from their ancestors to be faster, smaller, and “weaker,” while the die-area of the typical chips housing them has been constantly increasing. The cut-off wavelengths of integrated silicon transistors have now substantially exceeded the die sizes of the chips being fabricated with them. Combined with the ability to integrate billions of transistors on the same die, this size-wavelength cross-over has produced a unique opportunity for completely new architectures and topologies, which were previously impractical due the traditional partitioning of various blocks in conventional design. These holistic circuits combine digital and analog circuits, electromagnetics, photonics, device physics, and system architecture in one place resulting in novel architectures enabling new applications and enhancing the performance of the existing ones by orders of magnitude. These circuits leverage ideas of parallelism, reconfigurablility, concurrency, and stacking in more regular and periodic on-chip structures that are more conducive to modern fabrication processes and novel design and optimization approaches. In this talk, we discuss some of these opportunities and their associated challenges in some detail through a few examples of how they can be used in practice.