Friday, June 15, 2007

Nanomaterials and Morphware

The latest issue of the Nanotechnology Law and Business Journal (vol. 4.2) includes an article I wrote about the effects of nanomaterials on "Morphware" which is a term used to describe reconfigurable circuit architectures such as FPGAs. Based on patenting trends there is a definite drive toward reconfigurability as a way to augment performance as further scaling reduction becomes more difficult and costly.

While the paradigm in electronics for the past 40 years has been driven by Moore’s law, making smaller circuits is not the only way to increase the functionality and performance of electronics devices. Reconfigurable hardware, otherwise known as “morphware,” offers the possibility of providing more function with fewer circuit components when size reduction of circuit features becomes cost prohibitive. Nanostructured and molecular materials have begun to be applied to morphware allowing for electronic hardware with the flexibility and programmability of software. This article looks beyond the advantages of nanomaterials in shrinking circuit size toward applications of nanomaterials in which the impact of morphware is dominant.

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