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Design007-Jan2019

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JANUARY 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 69 wrong thickness, it will fail electrically or mechanically. Before you send your design to be manufactured, take a few moments to be sure your board is the right thickness for your needs. DESIGN007 Bob Tise and Dave Baker are engineers at Sunstone Circuits. To read past columns or contact Tise and Baker, click here. Bob Tise Dave Baker signals, impedance control is a factor in determining the right thickness of your board. • Be aware of the side effects of board flexibility: Will your product be subjected to excessive shock and vibration? Thin boards that flex can cause broken connections or components, so be sure it's properly supported in your assembly. When it matters, the rest of your design can be absolutely perfect, but if it's the Researchers at the University of Alberta have designed atomic-scale versions of the binary logic components that allow computer processors to perform complex operations—the latest in a series of advances that lay the groundwork for faster electronics that use far less power. "The atom-scale devices we are developing create a new basis for computer electronics that will be able to run at least 100 times faster or operate at the same speed as today but using 100 times less energy," said atomic physicist Robert Wolkow. The proof-of-concept devices Wolkow's team designed work much like logic gates in current microprocessors. But rather than using metal-oxide transistors mounted on silicon wafers, the atomic-scale logic gates use individual electrons confined in "quantum dots" directly on the silicon surface, dramatically reducing the space needed to pack millions of them into a microprocessor and the electricity needed to run them. This year alone, Wolkow and his team—supported by his graduate students and research associates at the U of A, the National Research Council of Canada and the spinoff company Quantum Silicon—published research demonstrating an atomic-scale simulated computer circuit, a technique to boost the storage capacity of solid- state memory by 1,000 times, and a method for automated manufacturing of atomic-scale circuitry. "Today's electronics have reached a point of maturation and can't be made any better," said Wolkow. "We have to stop using so much electricity to run our computers, and that means we need a drastic change in the kind of computers we use." The research was published in Nature Electronics. Wolkow's work was supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada. (Source: University of Alberta) Atomic-scale Binary Logic Could Power Faster, More Energy-efficient Electronics Physicist Robert Wolkow in his office.

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