2021-07-22

Flexible 32-bit microprocessor comes out

By yqqlm yqqlm

Flexible 32-bit microprocessor comes out

From laptops to cars to all kinds of intelligence Devices and microprocessors are the core components of all electronic devices. Nearly 50 years ago, Intel created the world’s first commercial microprocessor: a 4-bit CPU (central processing unit) with 2300 transistors and can only perform simple arithmetic operations. The most advanced silicon 64-bit microprocessor has 30 billion transistors and is manufactured using 7nm process technology. Today, the microprocessor has been so deeply embedded in our culture that it has become a “meta-invention”, that is, it is a tool that allows other inventions to be realized.

However, although computing equipment is dominated by traditional silicon technology, the cost and flexibility of silicon processors limit its feasibility in the manufacture of daily smart applications, such as food packaging and clothing. Flexible electronic products can solve these problems, but the production of flexible microprocessors requires enough transistors for meaningful calculations, which has always been a huge problem.

At the chip design company Arm Ltd in Cambridge, UK, researchers Emery Ozer, John Bikith and their colleagues combined metal oxide thin film transistors this time And flexible polyimide (a kind of high-functional plastic), made a completely flexible 32-bit microprocessor, called “PlasticARM”.

The processor is integrated in a circuit that can run from internal memory. The current version cannot be updated after assembly, but the research team believes that future iterations can achieve programmable memory.

Researchers said that the “PlasticARM” processor has more transistors, 12 times more logic gates than the best flexible integrated circuits made up of metal oxide thin film transistors, this thin, low-cost Flexible microprocessors may pave the way for the intelligentization of daily necessities.

Receiving instructions, executing instructions, and exchanging information with external memory and logic components are all within the scope of the microprocessor’s responsibility. Compared with traditional central processing units, microprocessors are small in size, light in weight, and easy to modularize. However, there are still certain technical bottlenecks-because “adding only one bit will increase the complexity of the circuit by a factor of two.” Like the 32 bits in this article, there is no doubt that everything will become more “difficult to handle” during the development process. Moreover, the material used in the manufacture of microprocessors has been basically silicon. The addition of this new material gives it more “soft” characteristics. Combined with its practicality, this new achievement can greatly promote smart devices, The development of application fields such as the Internet of Things.