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View Full Version : IBM says building better microchips is kind of like baking a cake.


vniow
Nov 11, 2002, 02:18 PM
Researchers at Big Blue have devised a new 3D circuit design that uses two or more layers of transistors, the basic building blocks of a chip, stacked in the same way a baker would create a multilayered cake.

The 3D design "adds second or multiple...layers on top of what's already there," said Kathryn Guarini, IBM's lead researcher on the project. So "instead of a single layer of transistors, we have two or three or more."

This new circuit design, which is in its early stages at IBM Research, could one day lead to more powerful chips, Guarini said. By layering transistors instead of placing them side by side as is done now, Big Blue can increase the number of transistors in a chip, boosting performance. (http://news.com.com/2100-1001-965263.html?tag=fd_top)


Yummy.

Mr. Anderson
Nov 11, 2002, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by edvniow

Yummy.

That would be an understatement. It means the could possibly get massively parallel machines in a smaller footprint. Imagine a 32 processor chip the size of a G4 chip today? Again, the potential for the future is increasing - maybe I should just go take a really long nap and wake up 10 years from now......

D

ArtificialUser
Nov 11, 2002, 07:07 PM
I remember reading about 3d processors like this, I think it was in a book called "Minds, Machines and the Multiverse." If I remember correctly, one of the problems with chips like this is the enormous amount of heat they produce -- it said about as much as a nuclear reactor, though this was a pop-sci book. Though definitely much much more heat than current processors...

Mr. Anderson
Nov 12, 2002, 06:56 AM
Heat would be an issue at the core of the chip, but I can't imagine that they would say that its possible without having a solution to the problem. But if it needs to have a cooling system, that might put such a chip outside the range of the desktops.

D