Sunday, February 19, 2012: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Ballroom A (VCC West Building)Digital electronics is a major driver of the modern economy, accounting for a large proportion of the productivity gains that characterized the global economy since the mid-1990s. Advances have been fueled by what is colloquially known as Moore's Law that successfully predicted the exponential increase in performance of computing machines for the last 40 years. This gain has been achieved because of increasing miniaturization of billions of tiny switches that make up the guts of today's computing machine. However, because sizes of these devices are reaching atomic dimensions, further progress will be stalled by limits imposed by fundamental physics. An impediment to progress is that nano-scale switching devices cannot be systematically arranged, organized, and interconnected by conventional technological means to orchestrate a useful computational architecture. To take computing power beyond Moore's Law would require entirely new scientific, engineering, and conceptual frameworks. Fundamental research across disciplines involving electrical engineers, computer scientists, chemists, physicists, material scientists, and biologists would be needed during the coming decades to combat this technological bottleneck and economic slowdown resulting from it. Recent surveys reveal that the United States is rapidly losing ground in international competition in this area. The symposium will focus on the multidisciplinary nature of the scientific problem in the context of global economy.
Sankar Basu, National Science Foundation (NSF)
Robert J. Trew, NSF