A KAIST research team led by Prof. Kyoung-Hoon Yang of the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department developed a super-fast chip that could lead to huge advancements in broadband Internet technology, the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said on Thursday (June 26).
The multiplexer chip is the first of its kind to be developed using the quantum effect of resonant tunnelling diode, according to the Ministry.
The integrated circuit chip built at the university laboratory has an operating speed of 45 gigabits per second (Gb/s), while using roughly 75 percent less energy than the previous version. The speed enables the transfer of about 4 full-length movies in one second.
The best operational broadband Internet services provide users with data transfer speed of 40 Gb/s, while most other high-speed online connections offer 10 Gb/s.
"Besides speed, the greatest achievement is low energy use," Prof. Yang said. He stressed that energy use in chips is a crucial factor because power creates heat that can melt circuits and make them inoperable.
"By cutting down on energy use, the new chips can be made smaller and with faster data transfer speed," the scientist said.
He added that efforts are underway to increase operational speed to 100 Gb/s, with energy consumption to be cut to 10 percent of current chips like the high electron mobility transistor, the heterojunction bipolar transistor and the complementary metal oxide semiconductor.
The researcher speculated that such revolutionary chips could be developed in 1-2 years and become the new benchmark in this field since existing chips have limited development capabilities.
The project has received funding from the Education-Science-Technology Ministry since 2000. The Ministry"s financial support will last until 2010.
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