When Desktop Engineering surveyed its readers last year for our special issue on cloud computing, the biggest concern to moving engineering computing processes to the cloud was security.
Work is being done by the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) to protect computers from hackers. In this case, quantum physics have been applied to securing data in the cloud from snoops and thieves.
Quantum physics could help reduce computers’ energy consumption by a factor of 100 by 2017, thanks to innovations in transistors. Researchers in Europe (and elsewhere) are pinning their hopes on tunnel-FET, which uses quantum tunneling to create ultra-low power transistors. In addition to boosting mobile computing thanks to decreased battery power consumption, it could also lead to more super computers with lower power costs. Both scenarios are a win for design engineers.
Modern computers contain billions of transistors based on field effect technology (FET) in which voltage induces an electron channel that activates the transistor. Two chambers in the transistor are separated by an energy barrier, and electrons move from one chamber to another as voltage is applied.
However, FET is reaching its outer limits for power consumption. Continue reading