Where was the research published?
- The study titled ‘An inspection based method to analyse deterministic noise in N-port circuits’ was published recently in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Open Journal of Circuits and Systems.
- It was authored by Hitesh Shrimali and Vijender Kumar Sharma from IIT-Mandi and Jai Narayan Tripathi from IIT-Jodhpur. The research was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
What is the breakthrough?
- The researchers say that electronic circuits in modern gadgets continue to be designed according to concepts developed decades ago despite an evolution in the nature of microchips.
- In order to increase the efficiency and durability of a gadget, the various components of microchips need to be designed optimally to minimise losses caused by fluctuating or erratic power supply.
How does power supply wear down a device?
- Today’s mobiles and computers use very large-scale integration (VLSI) technology in which lakhs of transistors can be embedded on a single silicon microchip (eg microprocessors and memory chips). Also, a single chip has both digital and analog components.
- Such microchips are powered by a direct current supply, often from an in-built battery. While such a battery may have a low voltage (usually 3.7 volts in mobile phones), parts of the microchip operate at even lower voltages.
How else is the study significant?
- The first generation computers, built in the 1940s and 50s, used vacuum tubes as the basic components of memory and processing. This made them bulky and expensive. In the early 60s, the vacuum tubes were replaced by transistors, a revolutionary technology which made the computers smaller, cheaper and energy-efficient.
- A few years later, the transistors were replaced by integrated circuits, or microchips, which had multiple transistors on a single chip. Finally, during the 70s, the VLSI technology was introduced, which made it possible to incorporate thousands of transistors and other elements onto a single silicon chip.