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Conformal Computing Program July 26, 2007. NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering. Center for Bits and Atoms MIT Media Lab. CNSE CC Team. (not pictured: Ahana Gosh and Jordan Dahl). Wallpaper Computing Display. Extensible Medium Integrated Computation and Display

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conformal computing program july 26 2007
Conformal Computing ProgramJuly 26, 2007

NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering

Center for Bits and Atoms

MIT Media Lab

cnse cc team

(not pictured: Ahana Gosh and Jordan Dahl)

wallpaper computing display
Wallpaper Computing Display
  • Extensible Medium
  • Integrated Computation and Display
  • Flexible Substrate
  • Similarities to Wallpaper
wcd prototypes
WCD Prototypes
  • Rigid 2x2 and 8x8 Prototypes
  • Strip Concept
  • Strip Prototypes
each processor scans 48 leds
Each processor scans 48 LEDs …

Processor + R’s + C

4 x 4 RGB Pixels

strip concept
Strip Concept
  • Uses only two metal layers  Lower cost, thinner, more flexible
  • Strips combine to form sheets  Extensible
1x8 strip layout
1x8 Strip Layout

Layer 1 (display side)

Layer 2 (computing side)

2 nd strip prototype
2nd Strip Prototype

computing side display side

flat strip display
Flat Strip Display
  • Top: thin 2-layer boards
  • Bottom: thick multi-layer boards
  • Must include processor-to-display cxns
  • No vias in strip-to-strip power distribution
  • Application Services
  • CA Emulation
  • Distributed Graphics
  • Interactive I/O
  • Tactile Array
  • LED Camera
application services
Application Services
  • Provides common application functions
  • Functions include:
    • Initial program loading (IPL)
    • Display setting and refreshing
    • Inter-processor communication (IPC)
    • Message passing
    • Thread management
    • Subsequent program loading
ca emulation
CA Emulation
  • Each cell has 8 configuration bits and 1 state bit
  • A text file format has been defined to specify the configurations and initial states of an array of cells
  • The text file is used to define the program to be loaded into a wallpaper computing display
  • A message passing sequence is used to exchange data between the subarrays emulated by individual processors
distributed graphics
Distributed Graphics
  • Purpose
    • Explore distributed applications capabilities using the 2x2 and 8x8 prototypes
  • Objective
    • Render a single graphics primitive (a quadrilateral) in a distributed fashion
  • Load all processors with same program
  • Inject a message into the array via one of the peripheral processors; the message describes the primitive to be rendered
  • Each processor renders a sub-image and passes a copy of the message to two of its neighbors
  • Duplicate messages are discarded

A (a1, a2)

B (b1, b2)

border pixel

D (d1, d2)

outside pixel

inside pixel

C (c1, c2)

tactile array
Tactile Array


Produce an example of actuation integrated with a conformal computer


Tactile array for sensory substitution

tactile display prototype
Tactile Display Prototype

Testbed for tactile transduction on forehead; uses biofeedback

Sensor system

Ultrasound range finders in fly’s eye configuration

Accurate 3.5 meter range sensing

Display system

Electromechanical actuators


3 microcontrollers in master-slave configuration

stepper motor brush
Transduction produced by brush on plastic disk

Stepper motor driven by

Pulse-width modulation

Short envelope duty cycle


No audible noise

Relatively low power

Stepper Motor & Brush
programmable cellular arrays
Programmable Cellular Arrays
  • (Larger Arrays of Microcontrollers)
  • Programmable Cellular Array ASIC
  • Assembling Large Arrays of ASICs
  • (Using the 3rd Dimension)
ca processors
CA Processors
  • Purpose
    • Scale processors down in size (and complexity) and up in number
  • Objectives
    • Design CMOS ASICs with arrays of simple computational cells
    • Consider sync & async approaches
assembly methods
Assembly Methods
  • Via-to-Pad
  • Roll-to-place (Part Printer)
  • FSA
  • R2R Flip-Chip on Flex
  • Selective Device Transfer
roll to place
  • Parts are “printed” from dispensers
  • Dispensers are at fixed locations relative to the roll
  • (See MIT-CBA for dispenser mock-up)
selective device transfer figure from www zurich ibm com st server selectivetrans html
Selective Device TransferFigure from