The Week in Review
Here is a collection of highlights from this week’s news stream as reported by HPCwire.
OSC, Nimbis Services Intro E-Commerce Portal
Nimbis Services and the folks from Ohio Supercomputer Center have introduced an e-commerce service that allows underserved companies to purchase time on OSC’s Blue Collar system by way of Nimbis’ Web portal.
A recent study performed by the Council on Competiveness (CoC) found that many US companies don’t have the means to access necessary modeling and simulation resources, leaving them at a competitive disadvantage. This so called “HPC Gap” is remedied by making HPC services easier-to-access, without the need to make an outlay expenditure for expensive computing equipment and without having to form direct partnerships with an HPC provider. Nimbis’ Web portal streamlines the process, making it easier for companies to access the resources they need.
From the release:
Computational technologies provide companies with innovative tools that allow for the virtual development of new and improved products, such as cars, pharmaceuticals and financial products. Virtual modeling and simulation also provide companies with a competitive edge through improved manufacturing process design to bring products to market quicker, reducing development time, cost and labor. Simulation makes choosing between alternative processing methods far easier.
Accessing the proper computational resources can increase efficiency and productivity — providing a competitive edge and profitable bottom line. Such a service is not only beneficial for the companies involved, but has the potential to be an economic stimulator for the entire region.
Says Ashok Krishnamurthy, Ph.D., director of research at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, “We intend for this e-commerce interface to offer many manufacturing companies with a digital ‘one-stop’ shop for their computational and software needs. OSC becomes an economic driver by bringing in companies with domain expertise, a practice we instituted with Blue Collar Computing web portals.”
Interested companies can purchase packages of HPC resources at Nimbis’ website, where they can also get in touch with expert computational consultants.
Fin-Shaped Transistors Pave Way for Faster Chips
Purdue University this week announced some progress in finFET transistor technology. FinFET refers to a multigate transistor architecture that uses a fin-shaped conducting channel made of indium-gallium-arsenide. The technology has the potential to shrink transistor sizes below what would be possible with conventional silicon-based semiconductors, thus continuing to meet our demand for faster, more compact computer chips.
But at smaller transistor geometries, there’s still a problem with electrical leakage. Take it away Purdue:
One potential solution to this leaking problem is to replace silicon dioxide with materials that have a higher insulating value, or “dielectric constant,” such as hafnium dioxide or aluminum oxide.
The Purdue research team has done so, creating finFETs that incorporate the indium-gallium-arsenide fin with a so-called “high-k” insulator. Previous attempts to use indium-gallium-arsenide finFETs to make devices have failed because too much current leaks from the circuit.
The researchers are the first to “grow” hafnium dioxide onto finFETs made of a III-V material using atomic layer deposition. The approach could make it possible to create transistors using the thinnest insulating layers possible – only a single atomic layer thick.
If successful, the technology could make sub-22nm transistors possible, thus keeping Moore’s Law alive beyond 2015.