Deep Jariwala, PhD, and Troy Olsson, PhD, associate professors in the department of electrical and systems engineering in Penn Engineering, and Eric Stach, PhD, the Robert D. Bent Professor in the department of materials science and engineering in Penn Engineering and director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, won the Bell Labs Prize for their development of a computer memory that would more efficiently handle the computational demands of data-intensive applications.
The Bell Labs Prize, awarded annually by Nokia Bell Labs, is a contest where researchers from around the globe submit proposals for “disruptive innovations that will define the next industrial revolution.” Participants are paired with Nokia Bell Labs researchers to further develop their ideas, ultimately presenting them to a panel of experts and industry leaders.
Jariwala, Olsson and Stach’s first prize-winning proposal presents a prototype ferroelectric-diode-based memory device. This device has a new memory architecture that reduces latency by moving memory closer to the processing source and allows for many processing functions to be performed in the memory itself.
The result is an ultra-high-density, ultra-low-power memory device that allows for the processing of reams of data much faster than traditional compute architectures.This chip technology could go a long way to optimizing artificial intelligence systems, while boosting the speed of big-data services like search engines.
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