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Quantum-dot Cellular Automata (QCA) has been widely advocated as a new device architecture for nanotechnology. QCA systems require extremely low power, together with the potential for high density and regularity. These features make QCA an attractive technology for manufacturing memories in which the paradigm of memory-in-motion can be fully exploited. This paper proposes a novel serial memory architecture for QCA implementation. This architecture is based on utilizing new building blocks (referred to as tiles) in the storage and input/output circuitry of the memory. The QCA paradigm of memory-in-motion is accomplished using a novel arrangement in the storage loop and timing/clocking; a three-zone memory tile is proposed by which information is moved across a concatenation of tiles by utilizing a two-level clocking mechanism. Clocking zones are shared between memory cells and the length of the QCA line of a clocking zone is independent of the word size. QCA circuits for address decoding and input/output for simplification of the Read/Write operations are discussed in detail. An extensive comparison of the proposed architecture and previous QCA serial memories is pursued in terms of latency, timing, clocking requirements, and hardware complexity.
Date of Publication: May 2008