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Signal Energy in Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata Bit Packets

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Quantum-dot cellular automata is a novel paradigm for computing at the nanoscale. Cells are the basic computing element in quantum-dot cellular automata and function as structured charge containers rather than as current switches. Computing with quantum-dot cellular automata is enabled by quantum-mechanical tunneling and Coulomb interactions. The use of molecules as cells to realize quantum-dot cellular automata may make possible nanometer-scale devices and ultra-high device densities without excessive heat dissipation. Molecular quantum-dot cellular automata can be clocked using an external electric field. A time-varying clock can be used to drive data flow through layouts of cells. Together, the clock and the device layout define a computational architecture where data flows through the circuitry in the form of bit packets. Here we analyze the energetics of QCA bit packets. We find a heuristic model based on cell-cell interactions works well. Bit packet energies in general scale with the packet length. It may, however, be possible to design a cell geometry so that the energy is packet-length independent. Fan-out and fan-in can be understood as investing energy from the clock in the signal, and then returning the energy back to the clock.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience is an international peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience into a single reference source. This journal offers scientists and engineers peer-reviewed research papers in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience and nanotechnology in chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering and biology to publish original full papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews and short communications encompassing the fundamental and applied research.
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