Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Catalyst: Faster Computing - ABC TV Science

Catalyst: Faster Computing - ABC TV Science

We are on the verge on the next computer revolution with 3D chip design.

Silicon wafers historically have been two dimensional. Intel on just changed all of that with 3-D transistors, dubbed Tri-Gate. The aim: Ensure that Moore’s Law, which dictates that transistor density doubles every two years, keeps chugging along.

These 3-D transistors are in-production technology and are expected to be used in handhelds as well as servers. The 3-D transistors will be the crux of a range of 22 nanometer processors—code named Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge will be ready for production at the end of the year.

These 3-D-based chips will first hit servers, desktops and laptops; Atom-based products will come later. Intel didn’t detail exact delivery targets, but later this year is likely. The company said it expects it will have a three-year lead on rivals.

Intel first detailed 3-D transistors in 2002, and now these chips will hit the market. The general idea is to pack more computing cycles with lower power. For Intel, which demonstrated a 22nm chip, 3-D chips will allow it to move into more markets such as cars, medical devices and other devices.

Intel likened the Tri-Gate transistors to skyscrapers, which allowed developers to optimize space by moving upward.

Among the key points:

  • 3-D Tri-Gate transistors will operate at lower voltage with less leakage. The upshot is that performance will improve.
  • Chip designers will be able to pick fins and choose transistors for low power or performance.
  • 22nm Tri-Gate transistors will use less than half the power at the same performance as 2-D 32nm chips.
  • These 3-D transistors have a 10x lower depletion rate.
  • Applied to a CPU, you can have a lower clock rate with the same performance as higher speeds.

Thus in 5-10 short years we will see memory and speeds of computers be around a billion times more efficient, faster, and INCREASE in capacity than today. It is an amazing time to be a gadget person :)

Imagine your iPhone 7 having 1TB of flash memory storage with the power of a super computer of today in your pocket in 2016, with a battery that lasts for weeks, It looks like its going to happen.

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