(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 8, 2010
Blemish Tolerance in Cellular Automata AndEvaluation
Engineering Department, IslamicAzad University, Tabriz branchTabriz, Iranr.firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Controls Engineering,Faculty of Electrical and ComputerEngineering,KN Toosi University of TechnologyTehran, Iranteshnehlab@eetd.kntu.ac.ic
Engineering Department, IslamicAzad University, Tabriz branchTabriz, IranSh.email@example.com
—The computational paradigm known as quantum-dotcellular automata (QCA) encodes binary information in thecharge configuration of Coulomb-coupled quantum-dot cells.Functioning QCA devices made of metal-dot cells have beenfabricated and measured. We focus here on the issue of robustness in the presence of disorder and thermal fluctuations.We examine the performance of a semi-infinite QCA shiftregister as a function of both clock period and temperature. Theexistence of power gain in QCA cells acts to restore signal levelseven in situations where high speed operation and hightemperature operation threaten signal stability. Randomvariations in capacitance values can also be tolerated.
Keywords-component; QCA, molecular electronics, singleelectronics, quantum-dot cellular automata, nanoelectronics
Conventional transistor-based CMOS technology facesgreat challenges with the down-scaling of device sizes inrecent years. Issues such as quantum effects, dopant-induceddisorder, and power dissipation may hinder further progress inscaling microelectronics. As the scaling approaches amolecular level, a new paradigm beyond using current switchesto encode binary information may be needed. Quantum-dotcellular automata (QCA) [1–3, 6, 12, 13, 18, 21] emerges asone such a paradigm. In the QCA approach bit information isencoded in the charge configuration within a cell. Columbicinteraction between cells is sufficient to accomplish thecomputation; no current flows out of the cell. It has been shownthat very low power dissipation is possible .A clocked QCA cell constructed with six quantum dots isshown in Fig. 1. Dots are simply places where a charge islocalized. Two mobile electrons are present in the cell. Theelectrons will occupy antipodal sites in the corner dots becauseof Coulomb repulsion. The two configuration states correspondto binary information of ” 1” and “0” The electrons can also bepulled to middle dots if the occupancy energy in the middledots is lower than corner dots. In this case we term theconfiguration “null” with no binary information present. Theclock adjusts the relative occupancy energy between active dotsin the corner and null dots in the middle, pushing electrons toeither active dots or null dots. The cell therefore switchesbetween null state and active state. When a cell is placed closeto another cell (as shown in Fig. 1b), they will have the samepolarization due to Coulomb coupling. Based on the cell-to-cellinteraction, logical QCA devices like binary wires, inverters,majority gates and full adders can all be implemented .QCA devices exist. QCA devices made of metal-dot cellshave been successfully demonstrated at low temperatures.Majority gates, binary wires, memories, clocked shift registersand fan outs have all been fabricated [1–3, 12, 13, 21]. Figure 2shows a schematic diagram and scanning electron micrographof a clocked shift register. Aluminum islands form the dots andAl/AlOx tunnel junctions serve as the tunneling path betweendots.Tunnel junctions are fabricated with shadow evaporationtechnique. Multiple tunnel junctions are used instead of a single junction to suppress co-tunneling. The clock is implemented bysimply applying voltage to leads capacitively coupled to themiddle dots. Single electron transistors (SET_s) are used asreadout electrometers. Though the operation of metal-dot QCAdevices is restricted to cryogenic temperatures, they may beviewed as prototypes for molecular QCA cells that will operateat room temperature. It may well be that molecular QCA,withthe possibility of enormous functional densities, very lowpower dissipation, and room temperature operation, is finallythe most promising system [5, 9–11, 14, 16].Metal-dot QCA do have the advantage of having beenalready created and tested, and we expect that understandingthe details of robustness in the metal-dot system will yieldbenefits for designing molecular systems. Here we focus onthe robustness in metal-dot QCA circuits. In particular, weconsider theoretically the effects of temperature, randomvariations in capacitance, and operating speed, on theperformance of a semiinfinite QCA shift register. The paper isorganized as follows: in Section II, we describe the applicationof single-electron tunneling theory to metal QCA devices.Section III describes the characterization of power gain inQCA circuits. In Section IV we analyze the operation of asemi-infinite QCA shift register. Finally, in Section V we