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IBM overclocks chip to 500GHz

#1 User is offline   stidyup Icon

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    Posted 21 June 2006 - 02:13 AM

    Reghardware

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    Boffins from IBM and the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) have produced what they claim is the world's fastest silicon chip thanks to what must be the acme of overclocking. The researchers reached a clock speed of 500GHz by reducing its temperature to just 4.5° above absolute zero.


    :o:o:o
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    #2 User is offline   stidyup Icon

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      Posted 21 June 2006 - 02:38 AM

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      At room temperature, the IBM-Georgia Tech chip operates at 350GHz, or 350 billion cycles per second. That's far faster than standard PC processors today, which range from 3.8GHz to 1.8GHz. But SiGe chips can gain additional performance in colder temperatures.

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      #3 User is offline   stidyup Icon

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        Posted 23 June 2006 - 02:07 AM

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        I'm going to resist the urge to go on a rant about J-school grads who horribly mangle their coverage of technical topics, because, to be fair, I'm not exactly an analog RF guru myself. However, I will say that yesterday's round of press reports about the IBM/Georgia Tech 500GHz transistor was just a train wreck: "OMG a 500GHz supercooled computer chip!! Terahertz CPUs here we come! Also, cell phone chips only run at 2GHz!! (I'm, uh, not sure why this cell phone detail is relevant—shouldn't we be comparing these to Pentiums?—but that's what the PR guy said so I'll just throw that tidbit in my article.)"

        If you read the coverage yesterday, let me see if I can untangle it for you. Like I said, I'm not really an analog circuits guy (I hated those classes, and I don't follow that industry), but I'll give it a shot. And if you didn't read the coverage, then hopefully the following will save you a headache.
        Switching vs. clocking

        First off, what the Georgia Tech/IBM team demonstrated was a transistor that can be switched at 350GHz at room temperature, and 500GHz when cooled to near absolute zero. Now, just because a transistor can switch that fast, it doesn't mean that you could build a processor that is clocked that fast. The transistors that make up, say, a Pentium 4 processor could theoretically be switched much faster the clockspeed of even the fastest Pentium 4 chip; but how fast an individual transistor can be switched and how fast you can clock a complex digital circuit that consists of millions of those transistors communicating in lock-step are two very, very different numbers.

        But really, there's no need to even talk about desktop processors here, because the kind of transistor that IBM and GA Tech goosed up to 500GHz is intended for use not in digital circuits but in analog RF devices.

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        #4 User is offline   lawson23 Icon

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          Posted 23 June 2006 - 11:56 AM

          It is so funny how some of these tech sites flew off the handle and reported misleading information.

          Ars has it correct and even CNN had it correct.

          That this is not a CHIP but a transistor only. Comparing it to a Desktop Processor is insane, which CNN even tries to do.

          You have to laugh. :lol:

          This post has been edited by lawson23: 23 June 2006 - 11:57 AM

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            Posted 23 June 2006 - 01:13 PM

            It's amazing how many times the press just makes things up!!!!
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              Post icon  Posted 23 June 2006 - 01:37 PM

              View Poststidyup, on Jun 23 2006, 12:12 PM, said:

              It's amazing how many times the press just makes things up!!!!


              Oh man, all the damn time. Always to get headlines and readers/buyers. :)



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