Following three years of extensive research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) physicist Dr. Uriel Levy and his team developed the world’s 1st stable & scalable Trahertz (THz) microchip, capable of clock speeds of up to 100 times faster than current microchips in use.
A crucial element in measuring how powerful computers are, is the number of instructions that their microchip brains, their Central Processing Units (CPU), are capable of processing per second . CPU speeds, also refereed to as Clock Speed, are measured in Hertz units for cycle per second. The latest generation CPUs, for example Intel’s brand new Core™ i9, with Intel’s special Turbo Boost Max Technology, reaches a clock speed of up to 4.40 gigahertz (GHz); that means it is capable of processing 4.4 times 109 instructions per second! The technology invented by Prof. Levy is capable of processing speeds of 1012 instructions per second. That’s more than 100 times faster than Intel’s fastest CPU.
Until now, two major challenges stood in the way of creating the Terahertz microchip: overheating and scalability. In a paper published on March 15 in the Laser and Photonics Review, Dr. Levy, head of HU’s Nano-Opto Group and HU emeritus professor Joseph Shappir have shown proof of concept for an optic technology that integrates the speed of optic (light) communications with the reliability and manufacturing scalability of electronics.
Optic communications encompass all technologies that use light and transmit through fiber optic cables, such as the internet, email, text messages, phone calls, the cloud and data centers, among others. Optic communications are super fast but in microchips they become unreliable and difficult to replicate in large quantities.
Now, by using a Metal-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon (MONOS) structure, Levy and his team have come up with a new integrated circuit that uses flash memory technology, the kind used in flash drives and discs-on-key, in microchips. If successful, this technology will enable standard 8-16 gigahertz computers to run 100 times faster and will bring all optic devices closer to the holy grail of communications: the terahertz chip!
As Dr. Uriel Levy shared, “this discovery could help fill the ‘THz gap’ and create new and more powerful wireless devices that could transmit data at significantly higher speeds than currently possible. In the world of hi-tech advances, this is game-changing technology,”
Meir Grajower, the leading HU PhD student on the project, added, “It will now be possible to manufacture any optical device with the precision and cost-effectiveness of flash technology.”
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