Dark physics and processor power

GCN Tech briefs

Dark physics and processor power

Computer microprocessors are made by using photolithography to etch an integrated circuit into silicon wafers. The number of circuits that can be etched into a single wafer is limited by the wavelength of the light source used. Lasers currently in use have pushed the limit about as far as it can be pushed.

Some researchers have proposed getting around the limitation by using multiple beams of light focused in the same place, effectively reducing the light's wavelength.

The problem is that this method would require a way to ensure that photons from different sources arrive at the same place at the same time without the light's intensity damaging the material being etched. This is a feat beyond the current state of the art.

Researchers at Texas A&M University at Qatar, however, have proposed a novel way of achieving the goal: Create a mask using so-called dark physics.

Chips are prepared for etching with a method called coherent population trapping. This method uses multiple light beams directed in a specific pattern to trap atoms in the chip material in a dark state so light cannot affect them. The lower-intensity multiple light sources used for the process do not damage the underlying material and are capable of a smaller wavelength than current lasers used for etching processors.

If the wafer is then exposed to traditional lasers, only the material that has not been put into a dark state will be etched.

In other words, M. Suhail Zubairy and his team at Texas A&M propose to fit more circuits on a processor by refining the mask rather than refining the laser. Zubairy said the method might allow the number of circuits on a processor to be doubled or even quadrupled.

NetSupport remote adds smart-card support

NetSupport has announced Version 10.3 of its NetSupport Manager remote-control program.

The new version adds support for smart cards ' so that any smart-card log-in performed on the control PC is redirected and applied to the client PC ' in addition to extended support for multiple monitors.

The new version also allows NetSupport Manager to coexist on systems with Remote Desktop.

www.netsupport-inc.com

D-Link debuts 8-bay ISCSI Storage SAN Array

D-Link Systems is shipping its new xStack Storage SAN Array, an eight-bay storage-area network device that offers as much as 8T of storage capacity.

The DSN-2100-10 Internet SCSI array offers four Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Groups for full offload capability so that all four ports can be grouped together, totaling as much as 425 megabits/sec bandwidth for increased throughput and redundancy.

The unit has a list price of $5,300.

www.dlink.com

Leica ships a new Titan

Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging has updated its Titan 2008, a dynamic online data-sharing solution. The new Titan offers an enhanced GeoHub, which allows administrators to set up permission-based access to shared communities. New features include the ability to set permissions for public access to local data, searches for data across the entire Leica Titan network, sharing of KML and KMZ files, subscribing and connecting to multiple GeoHubs, and accessing public Web services.

gi.leica-geosystems.com/ LGISub1x447x0.aspx

Symantec releases a new version of Norton 360

Symantec is shipping a new Version 2.0 of Norton 360, the company's all-in-one security solution for desktop and laptop PCs.

The newest version of Norton 360 includes Browser Protection technology, which defends against drive-by downloads and other new or unknown threats that exploit vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.

Norton 360 also offers antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall and intrusion protection along with the company's Sonar behavioral detection technology.

In addition, the new version supports backups to Blu-ray disks and iPods.

www.symantec.com

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