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A Proper Clocking and Optimization Technique for Quantum Dot Cellular Automata Designs
Keywords: Quantum-dot cellular automata, clocking zone, optimization
Despite the endless upwards spiral of Modern VLSI technology, many experts are predicting a barrier for CMOS within a decade. Given that, researchers are searching for an alternative technologies, one of which is Quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA)- a radically new device technology initially proposed at the University of Notre Dame. This technology performs computation not on electron flow but on coulombic interactions of electrons trapped in quantum-dots. Regions where an electron may be localized. It acts like a well, because once an electron is trapped inside the dot, it can not escape because adequate energy is lacking. However, when sufficiently energized the electron may tunnel to another quantum-dot. The electrostatic effect of neighboring cells lifts the degeneracy and results in a 1 or 0 state of the cell. The inter-cell interactions do not result in any current flow. The potential to have clocked control of regions of cells has proven immensely valuable for this new technique. The inter-dot barrier of a QCA cell can be controlled using this clocking scheme. However, the unsystematic application of a clocking zone can cause the system to behave weirdly. Choosing the number of cells in a particular clocking zone rather arbitrarily can introduce noise paths in QCA designs which not only preclude logically correct QCA building blocks from functioning correctly but also makes it impossible to compose these blocks to implement larger QCA designs hierarchically. Moreover, from a manufacturing point of view, the design logics composed of minimum number of cells and less number of clocking zones. This paper will present the study of an optimization technique for proper clocking and placing of the cells in QCA design.
Satyaki Ganguly, Student
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
USA


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