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(July 29, 2016) Today, Federal agencies participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) released a white paper describing the collective Federal vision for the emerging and innovative solutions needed to realize the Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing.
The grand challenge, announced on October 20, 2015, is to "create a new type of computer that can proactively interpret and learn from data, solve unfamiliar problems using what it has learned, and operate with the energy efficiency of the human brain." The white paper describes the technical priorities shared by the agencies, highlights the challenges and opportunities associated with these priorities, and presents a guiding vision for the research and development (R&D) needed to achieve key technical goals. By coordinating and collaborating across multiple levels of government, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations, the nanotechnology and computer science communities can look beyond the decades-old approach to computing based on the von Neumann architecture and chart a new path that will continue the rapid pace of innovation beyond the next decade.
“Materials and devices for computing have been and will continue to be a key application domain in the field of nanotechnology. As evident by the R&D topics highlighted in the white paper, this challenge will require the convergence of nanotechnology, neuroscience, and computer science to create a whole new paradigm for low-power computing with revolutionary, brain-like capabilities,” said Dr. Michael Meador, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. “The release of this white paper is a key step forward both for the Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing and for implementing the National Strategic Computing Initiative Strategic Plan,” adds Dr. Lloyd Whitman, Assistant Director for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The white paper was produced as a collaboration by technical staff at the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Intelligence Community. For additional information, see today’s announcement by the White House.
Marlowe Newman, NNCO Communications Director