Fiber Computing | IST-2000-25247

The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.� [M. Weiser, �The Computer for the Twenty-First Century,� Scientific American, pp. 94-100, September 1991. The overall objective of the proposed work is to embed computing power into ordinary objects used in everyday life. Some of our everyday objects are made out of fibers (clothes, curtains, table cloth etc.), some partly contain fibers (arm chairs, wallpaper etc.) or some can be made to incorporate fibers (doors, walls, sports equipment etc.). [Any material that is shaped into a geometry with a very high aspect ratio is called a fiber.] Fibers that are used nowadays, have mostly aesthetic and structural functions, which means they provide beauty, strength, stiffness and light-weight to the objects. Fibers can have added functions by the integration of computing power into the material that forms them. The purpose of the FiCom project is to embed computational functionality, i.e. transistor logic, to these fibers. This will bring an ordinary object that incorporates this fiber into an artifact that can sense, compute, remember and/or interact with its surroundings.

The initial step is the selection of materials and development of fibers. Into the microstructure of selected fibers, the basic unit of computation, the transistor will be implemented. This is done by doping of individual grains within the microstructure which results in junctions necessary for making a transistor. Central processing units as well as sensors and memory could be integrated within one fiber by the interconnection of transistors. Computing fibers can be interwoven into everyday objects to create artefacts which could be interconnected with each other.






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