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We address integration density in future computers based on packaging and architectural concepts of the human brain: a dense 3-D architecture for interconnects, fluid cooling, and power delivery of energetic chemical compounds transported in the same fluid with little power needed for pumping. Several efforts have demonstrated that by vertical integration, memory proximity and bandwidth are improved using efficient communication with low-complexity 2-D arrays. However, power delivery and cooling do not allow integration of multiple layers with dense logic elements. Interlayer cooled 3-D chip stacks solve the cooling bottlenecks, thereby allowing stacking of several such stacks, but are still limited by power delivery and communication. Electrochemical power delivery eliminates the electrical power supply network, freeing valuable space for communication, and allows scaling of chip stacks to larger systems beyond exascale device count and performance. We find that historical efficiency trends are related to density and that current transistors are small enough for zetascale systems once communication and supply networks are simultaneously optimized. We infer that biological efficiencies for information processing can be reached by 2060 with ultracompact space-filled systems that make use of brain-inspired packaging and allometric scaling laws.
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Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2011