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Israel is developing superchips, operating at frequencies up to terahertz, running 100 times faster.

Date: 2018-10-17
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Known as the Middle East Silicon Valley, Israel is highly advanced in science and technology. Its chip industry and semiconductor technology are particularly noteworthy. Annual exports account for more than 20% of Israel's total exports. At the moment, Israel is developing smaller, 100 times faster superchips than traditional chips, promising.

It is reported that Ulier Levy, a physicist at Hebrew University in Israel, and his research team have been working on a new chip technology. After more than three years of unremitting efforts, the research work has finally come to fruition. Using the "metal-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon" structure (MONOS), they developed a new integrated photonic circuit fabrication technology, which allows the use of flash memory technology on microchips, promising to make smaller, faster-running photonic chips a reality, with even too much computational frequency. The Hertz magnitude will increase the speed of computer and related optical communication equipment by 100 times.

Terahertz (THz) is one of the units of frequency. Terahertz wave consists of electromagnetic waves with frequencies of 0.1 THz-10 THz, which is a section of electromagnetic spectrum between microwave and infrared optical bands. Compared with the development of infrared and microwave technology on both sides of terahertz band, people have limited knowledge of terahertz band, forming the so-called terahertz gap. Terahertz wave has penetrability and less energy than X ray, so it will not cause damage to human tissues and DNA. In recent years, terahertz technology has become an interdisciplinary frontier of science and technology, and has great potential in the field of microchip.

In general, optical communication encompasses all the technologies that use light as a carrier of information and transmit it over optical cables. For example, the Internet, e-mail, SMS, telephone, cloud and data center, are all in the category of optical communications. Optical communication is very fast, but in microchip, optical communication becomes unreliable and difficult to repeat and expand. Specifically, there are two major technical difficulties that hinder the development and fabrication of terahertz microchips: one is that the chip itself is overheated, and the other is that it is not scalable. Scientists point out that the ultra-high precision and reproducible fabrication of micro photonic devices is an important technical guarantee for the successful development of integrated photonic chips.

Levi's scientific research team has made a breakthrough in these two problems. They skillfully circumvented the technical problems of low precision, poor repeatability and poor expansibility in micro-and nano-fabrication of photonic devices, and introduced flash memory technology into the fabrication of silicon-based photonic devices. This initiative has important prospects and pioneering significance for the coming of integrated photonic chips, which is expected to trigger a revolution in the chip industry. Some analysts say the discovery will help bridge the terahertz gap and create new, more powerful wireless devices that allow chips to transmit data at much higher speeds than they currently have, a technology that could change the rules of the game in chip-based high-tech fields.

In fact, the shift from electronic communications to optical communications is attractive to chip manufacturers, as optical communications can dramatically speed up chip operations and reduce power consumption after breaking down technical barriers. It is hoped that terahertz microchips, which are 100 times faster than traditional chips, will be available as soon as possible for the benefit of mankind.

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