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Tech Tuesday – Albany NanoCollege to Produce New Type of Chip

According to a story on the Times Union website, the Albany College of Nanscale Science and Engineering has announced a $10 Million Dollar deal with west coast based company APIC Corp, to produce new integrated circuits and chips that use photons, instead of electrons to do the computations a micro processor chip does for the function it was designed.

Photo Courtesy of CNSE Website

Most chips use metal to conduct electricity to transistors that turn on and off, which represents the 1’s and 0’s of the basic binary language a computer chip uses. The problem with getting faster chips, is you need more transistors in the same amount of space or even asmaller space. This adds heat to the equation which of course makes the chips hot and could cause them to fail if you don’t have a fan on the chip to cool it.

Plus, it eats up more power, so more carbon goes into the atmosphere from the extra resources needed to power it. Hence all these other technology fields to increase power efficiency and battery life and so on.

But now, APIC Corp and the Albany NanoCollege are going to develop a chip that uses photons, the energy particle that light is made of, to power the chips. You don’t need the metal conductors like in a regular chip, so less heat from electricity. This also improves performance by 60% and reduces the amount of electricity needed to power it.

All this comes down to uses, including advanced data-centers, medical research, secure financial transactions and next-generation gaming capabilities.


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