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MIT and Stanford present a 3-D chip that integrates CPU and RAM

The ultra-dense nanotube lanes of communication between the memory and logic layers. (Source: Nature)
The ultra-dense nanotube lanes of communication between the memory and logic layers. (Source: Nature)
MIT and Stanford have developed a 3-D chip that integrates both CPU and RAM using carbon nanotubes to interconnect stacked-up logic layers and RAM layers. The design has great implications for overcoming communication bottlenecks.

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Stanford University and MIT joined forces to develop the first 3-D chip that integrates RAM into a CPU chip built with carbon nanotubes. This technology can be used to overcome bottlenecks in communication between logic circuits and memory blocks.

The 3-D chip is detailed in a paper published in the well-known journal Nature. MIT/Stanford claim that the 3-D chip fundamentally changes the way transistors are fabricated. Present day transistors are made of silicon, but the new ones proposed by MIT/Stanford are made of graphene nanotubes. These make up the logic layer (CNFET layer) inside the 3-D chip. The other layer consists of a new kind of memory called "resistive random-access memory" (RRAM), which works by altering the resistance of a solid dielectric material. According to H.-S. Phillip Wong, co-author of the research, "RRAM can be denser, faster, and more energy-efficient compared to DRAM."

The logic and memory layers are alternating, and in-between each of these layers there are "ultradense" wires that act as communication lanes.  Even though the carbon nanotube chip designed by MIT/Stanford is very slow compared to current multi-core CPUs, project lead Max Shulaker claims that more complex designs are just a matter of time. Still, the 3-D chip integrates "over 1 million RRAM cells and 2 million carbon nanotube field-effect transistors, making the most complex nanoelectronic system ever made with emerging nanotechnologies.”

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 07 > MIT and Stanford present a 3-D chip that integrates CPU and RAM
Bogdan Solca, 2017-07-12 (Update: 2017-07-12)
Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - News Editor
I stepped into the wonderous IT&C world when I was around 7. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, be them from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I like to keep myself up to date with all the new technologies that get released at an ever increasing rate these days. I'm also an avid SciFi reader, an astrophysics aficionado and, as of late, a crypto geek.