Heat is a crucial issue in new processor

I was reading the article in your December 1996 issue entitled "DARPA eyes trillion-transistor image processor" where DARPA/ STO Director Zachary Lemnios is quoted on the agency`s planned program aimed at trillion-transistor integration in the next three years (three orders of magnitude more that the state of today`s art)

Apr 1st, 1997

To The Editor:

I was reading the article in your December 1996 issue entitled "DARPA eyes trillion-transistor image processor" where DARPA/ STO Director Zachary Lemnios is quoted on the agency`s planned program aimed at trillion-transistor integration in the next three years (three orders of magnitude more that the state of today`s art)

What about the power that will be required for such a densely constructed device? How will the heat be managed? Will it require mechanical or fluidic cooling? There needs to be an answer.

Even with the best materials and processes, heat dissipation is going to play a major role in the design of the device. Power management is moving to the top of the list in mega-transistor design projects. I started to think about how the technology that our company is developing under an Air Force Rome Laboratory SBIR Phase II contract will help solve these growing concerns.

Applying behavioral-level synthesis algorithms defined by Princeton University, Alternative System Concepts Inc. in Windham, N.H., is developing an electronic CAD tool that allows the designer to trade off area and speed, secondarily to constraining the design for the lowest power, to perform the required functions.

It seems that advancements in military electronics are once again ahead of commercial electronics, as has been the case many times throughout the short history of the industry. And once again, the government has recognized the value of funding a small business to take the lead in developing this essential technology.

Later in the same issue of Military & Aerospace Electronics, the article on batteries drives home the same thoughts about reducing the drain on batteries through smarter design enabled by better tools.

Jake Karrfalt

President and CEO

Alternative System Concepts Inc. Windham, N.H.

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