MoonDawg's Den: Pushing the envelope - then folding, spindling, mutilating, and tearing that sucker to pieces

MoonDawg's Den

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pushing the envelope - then folding, spindling, mutilating, and tearing that sucker to pieces

The folks at IBM and the North Avenue Trade School have announced a remarkable advancement in computer chip technology, getting a cryogenically frozen silicon-germanium chip to run at 500GHz, about 250 times faster than chips used in most cell phones and home computers. Sure, home air conditioners typically don't have a thermostat setting for minus 451 degrees, but even at room temperature "the IBM-Georgia Tech chip operates at 350GHz, or 350 billion cycles per second", which is still insanely faster than today's processors.

We could see the faster chip in commercial products in as little as a year. What's even more remarkable is that researchers may be able to push the envelope of processor speed much farther than even 500GHz. As a technology consultant in Portland said of the achievement:
"There's been talk that we've started to hit the physical limitations of chip performance," he said. "The news here is that we're not coming anywhere near the end in what processors are capable of."

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