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MacRumors
Jun 12, 2006, 09:16 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

According to Macworld, Intel's researchers have created tri-gate transistors (http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/06/12/intel/index.php) that better insulate circuits, which could enable either a 45% increase in speed or a 35% reduction in power used when compared to today's processors. This will help Intel to extend Moore's law, which states that that number of transistors on a chip would double about every two years, or in layman's terms, chip processing power will approximately double every two years.

Chip manufacturers have had difficulty extending Moore's law as chip geometry shrinks below 90 nanometers and frequencys escalate to beyond 2 Ghz. In both cases, chips begin to leak more electricity and run less efficiently. One solution is to build multi-core chips, which the industry as a whole has already adopted.

However, different chip manufacturers are playing with other methods of further increasing chip efficiency below 90 nm. IBM is placing research money into carbon nanotubes, and has made some impressive breakthroughs (http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=16931&ch=nanotech).

For its part, Intel is placing its bets on tri-gate transistors.

"Compared to carbon nanotubes, it is far easier to build," [Mike Mayberry, director of components research and VP of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group] said. "The problem with carbon nanotubes is that no one knows how to put them in a particular spot except by moving them one at a time. Even our smallest chips have millions of transistors, so that is an insurmountable challenge. [...] [Tri-gate transistors] will be an option for chips somewhere beyond 45 nm -- in the 32 or 22 nm mode -- so that gives us confidence we can continue scaling Moore's Law into the next decade," said Mayberry.

Macworld states that Intel could begin using the technology by 2010.

PlaceofDis
Jun 12, 2006, 09:28 AM
i can't profess that i have much knowledge on what all of this means, but hey i guess it means there won't be any stagnation. which is good. :)

BornAgainMac
Jun 12, 2006, 09:34 AM
Too much info for me. Seems like a great Woz level topic.

zv470
Jun 12, 2006, 09:36 AM
Does Tri-Gate mean we will finally move from Binary Computing to Ternary Computing? ;)

Switch on... switch is between... switch off... etc...? :D
Yes... maybe... no... etc...?
White... gray... black... etc...?


1012010010202102010002222202012202020200120021

ImNoSuperMan
Jun 12, 2006, 09:36 AM
Oh no.... We`ll be gettings chips which are 45% faster at 35%less power in 5 years???? So I guess everone on MR will start advocatng WAIT TILL YOU GET TRI GATE CHIPS. THEY`RE GONNA SMOKE THE CURRENT LINEUP. WAIT WAIT WAIT. Dont buy a Mac before we have this Chip in it. It`s just a wait of 5 yers. Cant you hold off for 5 small years???


LOL
This a tribute to all those posters on MR who`ll always tell you to "WAIT TILL THE NEXT REV. IT`LL BE SO MUCH BETTER without even thinking bout the frustration building up with each day of waiting. But the real prolem is that they are correct most of the times.:o .

bigandy
Jun 12, 2006, 09:37 AM
Why does it always seem to me like intel are taking the easy way out?

I think Carbon Nanotubes will be the way to go... But with IBM running that research, will it ever go mainstream?

DavidCar
Jun 12, 2006, 09:39 AM
Here's some photos of trigates:

http://news.com.com/2300-1006_3-6082265-1.html

weitzner
Jun 12, 2006, 09:50 AM
Why does it always seem to me like intel are taking the easy way out?

I think Carbon Nanotubes will be the way to go... But with IBM running that research, will it ever go mainstream?


IBM will figure out how to do it, then intel will steal it, perfect it and put it everywhere. it doesn't really matter who comes up with this stuff, if it's clearly the best solution, it will be adopted by everyone.

~Shard~
Jun 12, 2006, 09:56 AM
Too much info for me. Seems like a great Woz level topic.

I'm an Electronics Systems Engineer, so I love gobbling this kind of stuff up! ;) :cool:

This is a very cool advancement from Intel, however as the article states, we probably won't be seeing this technology in the marketplace for another 4-5 years. Plus, it's kind of a no-brainer to say, "Technology is going to be much better in the future!" Duh. :p ;)

Personally, I believe carbon nanotube technology is the way to go and offers far more potential, but I'll have to read up more on these tri-gate transistors to be fair. :cool:

Abstract
Jun 12, 2006, 10:31 AM
Carbon nanotubes are the way to go. Everyone knows that. Everyone. ;)



(I have no idea what I'm talking about. Never listen to me, even if you think I'm making perfect sense)

kainjow
Jun 12, 2006, 10:34 AM
Apple already made nanotubes :p

http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/lm_altview_ma241ga.jpg

thejadedmonkey
Jun 12, 2006, 10:36 AM
Good. This means the current lineup (once it goes merom) won't be outdated for a while.

chibianh
Jun 12, 2006, 10:37 AM
Apple already made nanotubes :p

http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/lm_altview_ma241ga.jpg

but they're not carbon :P

Max on Macs
Jun 12, 2006, 10:37 AM
I'm all for carbon nanotubes to be honest. It'd be great to bring the PC into the carbon cycle :D

Yamson
Jun 12, 2006, 10:42 AM
but they're not carbon :P
Well, technically they are carbon-based.

Timepass
Jun 12, 2006, 10:43 AM
IBM will figure out how to do it, then intel will steal it, perfect it and put it everywhere. it doesn't really matter who comes up with this stuff, if it's clearly the best solution, it will be adopted by everyone.


not so much as steal. Depending on the agreement the makers have ibm may just give it to them. There is quite a bit of reverse engineering in the CPU market.

Intel first 64 bit chips where very clearly an revevise engineering AMD64 chip. Plus there is a lot of sharing in the industity. AMD could of put Hyper threading in there CPU and there been no law suit for it because of the agreement AMD and intel have where they share a lot of the stuff and are required to share quite a bit because everything need to be compatible with the software. Though intel may have more heavy restrition put on them by the goverment because they are the power house that much I dont know. But I do know there is a lot of infomation sharing in the industry

The computer industry as a whole is a great example of engineering at it best.
Things that the average person doesnt understand or know is the question an engineering ask when solving a problem.
1. what am I trying to make/do.
2. Has anyone solve a problem like this before.
3. if so what was there solution.
4. How can I take that solution and adapt it to my problem or make it better

They go though that before coming up with a new solution because it is faster and cheaper to adapt a working solution already.

An engineering solution is normally not always the best possible solution to the problem but it is a working pratical solution to the problem. To get the best solution will take to much time and money to get to it. An engineering solution takes a lot less time and money to figure out. It is a very good answer and solution but rarelly is it the best possible solution and it always a work in progress on how to make it fast cheaper and better.

CallmeKenneth
Jun 12, 2006, 11:09 AM
So is tri-gate a bit like triple core?

Collin973
Jun 12, 2006, 11:17 AM
Interesting stuff. New technology is always very interesting to read about. I wonder how soon this kind of equipment will make it consumers.

gauriemma
Jun 12, 2006, 11:23 AM
Here's some photos of trigates:

http://news.com.com/2300-1006_3-6082265-1.html


Yeah, "trigates" are cool. But I'm holding out for one of these:
http://www.vargr.com/pages/renders/images/StarGate.jpg

Macmaniac
Jun 12, 2006, 11:27 AM
but they're not carbon :P
But they contain carbon since they are made out of OIL!

thejadedmonkey
Jun 12, 2006, 11:38 AM
I have this feeling that the tri-gate stuff will be out first, and really give us a nice speed boost. A few years after that, IBM will have their carbon nanotubes ready and intel will adopt a nanotube approach, possibly combining the two, but giving us an even greater speed boost.

And by "us", I mean the world.

bmarker
Jun 12, 2006, 11:40 AM
This does not mean a move from binary. I'm guessing the wink means it wasn't really a serious question but it's one I hear often enough.

It's tri-gate because there are 3 paths from source to sink. There are 3 gates in the same amount of space a single gate usually occupies. This is why it can pass more power without leaking or take less voltage to activate. There are also dual gate designs but Intel is working on 3. It's still all on-off.

Of course, I could always be wrong.

thogs_cave
Jun 12, 2006, 11:45 AM
Personally, I believe carbon nanotube technology is the way to go and offers far more potential, but I'll have to read up more on these tri-gate transistors to be fair. :cool:

Given the amount of research into carbon nanotubes in all sorts of applications (like construction[0]), I suspect that long-term it will be the more viable technology. Intel's comments say to me: "Yeah, carbon nanotubes are cool, but it'll be hard to use them." Now it's hard, but in five years, who knows?

[0] For example, the Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimizu_Mega-City_Pyramid

mozmac
Jun 12, 2006, 12:01 PM
Apple, Intel, and Nintendo should all merge. Then they could incorporate the new "Tri-force" technology into their chips. Macs would play Zelda music as they start up. Then, whenever you discovered something new about your computer, it would play the "Secret Discovered" noise that we've all come to love. You know what I'm talking about. "Do do do do do do do do do do!"

SiliconAddict
Jun 12, 2006, 12:07 PM
Tri-gate will prob win. From what I've read its the easiest and cheapest to implement. Nanotubes will eventually get here but until an easier way to use the tech is found its going to be a back burner technology. that being said it could simply be a matter of finding an innovative way to manipulate nanotubes. Something that could become apparent overnight.

SiliconAddict
Jun 12, 2006, 12:09 PM
Why does it always seem to me like intel are taking the easy way out?

I think Carbon Nanotubes will be the way to go... But with IBM running that research, will it ever go mainstream?

Who gives a flying crap if its the easy way out. :rolleyes: If the end results are the same why on earth would you intentionally make things more complicated then they should be. Gah....the concept of KISS seems to have all but died in the last 7 years.

macaddict06
Jun 12, 2006, 12:24 PM
why on earth would you intentionally make things more complicated then they should be.
Simple, it allows you to say you are making great strides while AMD and the Turion x2 scream ahead.
As a sidenote, if Jobs announces at WWDC that they will allow an option to use AMD in the next MBP's, I will be happy. C'mon Steve, this one's for the gipper...

scem0
Jun 12, 2006, 12:29 PM
I like tubes better than gates, but that's just a personal preference ;).

e

Glen Quagmire
Jun 12, 2006, 12:33 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)
Chip manufacturers have had difficulty extending Moore's law as chip geometry shrinks below 90 nanometers and frequencys escalate to beyond 2 Ghz. In both cases, chips begin to leak more electricity and run less efficiently. One solution is to build multi-core chips, which the industry as a whole has already adopted.


I think you mean "frequencies", not "frequencys". At least you didn't spell it "frequency's".

/spelling nazi

ifjake
Jun 12, 2006, 01:06 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if, just as they had Mac on Intel in secret back before the switch, Apple's got a handful of machines running on AMD processors. They'll support PPC probably through Leopard, but who knows if they'll keep some secret ongoing PPC builds just in case. I'm just glad their using an architecture that has some competition in it, even if it isn't the best.

A is jump
Jun 12, 2006, 01:11 PM
Apple, Intel, and Nintendo should all merge. Then they could incorporate the new "Tri-force" technology into their chips. Macs would play Zelda music as they start up. Then, whenever you discovered something new about your computer, it would play the "Secret Discovered" noise that we've all come to love. You know what I'm talking about. "Do do do do do do do do do do!"

If only the world was so wonderful!

ro2nie
Jun 12, 2006, 01:17 PM
Anyone know when we're gonna see quantum processors?

Shagrat
Jun 12, 2006, 01:27 PM
I like tubes better than gates, but that's just a personal preference ;).

e

Based on what, by the way? What are the advantages of Buckytubes over Tri-gates? I haven't the SLIGHTEST idea which will be better/feasible in the long/short run, and i wonder how many people here really know which is going to be the viable technology in the future?

Not getting funny/nasty, here, but I hear a lot of opinions in the world these days, but rarely a good reason to back them up!

thogs_cave
Jun 12, 2006, 01:47 PM
Who gives a flying crap if its the easy way out. :rolleyes: If the end results are the same why on earth would you intentionally make things more complicated then they should be. Gah....the concept of KISS seems to have all but died in the last 7 years.

First, who knows if the end results would be the same? We're still at the beginning of the curve.

Second, we need to encourage more than the "easy way out". Our greatest strides in technology (and often knowledge) occur when we push the envelope. Much like the space program in the '50s and '60s.

ctachme
Jun 12, 2006, 01:55 PM
So a new PowerBook on tuesday then?

Anyway, I think nanotubes are a lot cooler because you can build space elevators with them. Not sure how that applies to transistors though.

Vidd
Jun 12, 2006, 02:12 PM
Then they could incorporate the new "Tri-force" technology into their chips.

You're too late; there is "Triforce technology" but it was Nintendo, Sega and Namco (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triforce_%28arcade_system_board%29).

killmoms
Jun 12, 2006, 02:25 PM
Simple, it allows you to say you are making great strides while AMD and the Turion x2 scream ahead.
As a sidenote, if Jobs announces at WWDC that they will allow an option to use AMD in the next MBP's, I will be happy. C'mon Steve, this one's for the gipper...
That's nonsense. Intel's not halting development on current chips to pursue tri-gate, they're RESEARCHING tri-gate to see if it's a technology they can harness in their chips.

Besides, AMD isn't screaming ahead—if anything, they're lagging behind Core 2 at the moment. Competition is good—Intel's faster now, AMD cuts prices, Intel responds... all these things are good for the consumer.

boncellis
Jun 12, 2006, 02:30 PM
In my opinion, the not too distant future will see diminishing returns on the amount of processing power needed by the average consumer--the real leaps and bounds will come in lower power consumption to the point where efficiency becomes a major selling point.

I love reading this forum because I learn things I would never have learned other places. Even in this instance when no one really understands what the news item means, you can still glean something about the impact new technology will have on the market.

Or, in the alternative, you can learn who knows their stuff and who has no idea about this sort of thing. I believe I fall in the latter category.

killmoms
Jun 12, 2006, 02:33 PM
In my opinion, the not too distant future will see diminishing returns on the amount of processing power needed by the average consumer--the real leaps and bounds will come in lower power consumption to the point where efficiency becomes a major selling point.
Honestly, people have been saying that since the dawn of computing. Trouble is, we keep finding new ways to utilize the ever-increasing processing power we have, and we want more. I agree that efficiency will become a selling point, but never more-so than power, except to a few specific groups. Not only do we crave "more more more," programmers keep finding ways to use it up. ;)

boncellis
Jun 12, 2006, 02:41 PM
...Not only do we crave "more more more," programmers keep finding ways to use it up. ;)

That is true--I should point out that I didn't mean to suggest that the market won't support it, because it certainly will--just that I think I'll be happy with the processing power of my 1.67 PB until the day it dies.

You do raise a good point though, and it becomes somewhat circular after a while, but the eventual "bloating" of software where unnecessary (see, e.g. Windows 2000) doesn't factor into the equation when I look at a new machine. Perhaps it should.

Di9it8
Jun 12, 2006, 02:54 PM
As long a Moores Law is maintained that will keep the boffins going.
After tri-gates will there be sex-gates??:D

Macnoviz
Jun 12, 2006, 03:01 PM
Anyone know when we're gonna see quantum processors?

I read a few months ago they had build the first quantum chip, with standard ports (NOR, AND, ..., don't quote me on that)


but before it will be seen in the new powerbook on thuesday, I guess we're gonna have to wait at least a dozen of years. Great things are in store, though, stuff being one, zero, or both and such, only problem is that everything will have to be rebuild from scratch: hardware, OS, software, everything that was built upon binary digits will be completely useless.

But you can't really say quantum processors, because even now, there are several technologies, one outrunning the other.

I think at that point, we might be seeing totally photorealistic games (not that shiny, obviously fake look of eg the new XBOX 360 games)


Or to quote my favourite Fast Show character:

Aren't computers brilliant? In the future computers will do everything, brillinat, aint'it? Except play soccer, computers would suck as a goalie, wouldn't they?

scem0
Jun 12, 2006, 03:15 PM
Based on what, by the way? What are the advantages of Buckytubes over Tri-gates? I haven't the SLIGHTEST idea which will be better/feasible in the long/short run, and i wonder how many people here really know which is going to be the viable technology in the future?

Not getting funny/nasty, here, but I hear a lot of opinions in the world these days, but rarely a good reason to back them up!

It was a joke about my sexuality :).

e

NewSc2
Jun 12, 2006, 05:37 PM
Apple, Intel, and Nintendo should all merge. Then they could incorporate the new "Tri-force" technology into their chips. Macs would play Zelda music as they start up. Then, whenever you discovered something new about your computer, it would play the "Secret Discovered" noise that we've all come to love. You know what I'm talking about. "Do do do do do do do do do do!"

that would be so badass. Hit power button.. "do dooo, dah-dah-dah-dah doo!"

ammon
Jun 12, 2006, 08:55 PM
Besides, AMD isn't screaming ahead—if anything, they're lagging behind Core 2 at the moment.

This has yet to be proven. Initial benchmarks on Intel's own boxes show Core 2 being faster, but wait until next year.

When AMD and IBM go to their 65nm chips with dual stress liner and stress memorization technology on silicon on insulator (DSL and SMT on SOI) Intel will be running for the hills!

ezekielrage_99
Jun 12, 2006, 10:02 PM
but they're not carbon :P

A carbon nano tube for my iPod nano would be sweet :D

johnthevulcan
Jun 13, 2006, 03:40 AM
CHECK OUT WHAT HOWSTUFFWORKS.COM HAS TO SAY ABOUT PROCESSORS IN GENERAL AND YOU WILL SEE THAT TRI GATE OR NANO TUBES (GIGGLES) WILL MAKE OUR PC'S OR MACS MORE AND MORE LIKE THE COMPUTERS IN STAR TREK, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY ALL THAT MATTERS.



BTW THE STAR TREK COMPUTERS WILL RUN WITH A MAC OS.:cool:

~Shard~
Jun 13, 2006, 08:07 AM
CHECK OUT WHAT HOWSTUFFWORKS.COM HAS TO SAY ABOUT PROCESSORS IN GENERAL AND YOU WILL SEE THAT TRI GATE OR NANO TUBES (GIGGLES) WILL MAKE OUR PC'S OR MACS MORE AND MORE LIKE THE COMPUTERS IN STAR TREK, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY ALL THAT MATTERS.



BTW THE STAR TREK COMPUTERS WILL RUN WITH A MAC OS.:cool:

Is there anything more annoying then typing in all caps?

:p :cool:

ezekielrage_99
Jun 13, 2006, 08:10 AM
CHECK OUT WHAT HOWSTUFFWORKS.COM HAS TO SAY ABOUT PROCESSORS IN GENERAL AND YOU WILL SEE THAT TRI GATE OR NANO TUBES (GIGGLES) WILL MAKE OUR PC'S OR MACS MORE AND MORE LIKE THE COMPUTERS IN STAR TREK, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY ALL THAT MATTERS.



BTW THE STAR TREK COMPUTERS WILL RUN WITH A MAC OS.:cool:


If it's in caps it just has to be right.......

And for the people who don't know the complexities of the "Caps Lock" it's marked on the image below.

BlueRevolution
Jun 13, 2006, 01:08 PM
I like tubes better than gates, but that's just a personal preference ;).

e

Tubes suck!

~Shard~
Jun 13, 2006, 04:31 PM
Tubes suck!

I thought it was the other way around... :eek:

BlueRevolution
Jun 13, 2006, 05:02 PM
I thought it was the other way around... :eek:

Well, yeah. They blow too.

SPUY767
Jun 13, 2006, 05:04 PM
Does Tri-Gate mean we will finally move from Binary Computing to Ternary Computing? ;)

Switch on... switch is between... switch off... etc...? :D
Yes... maybe... no... etc...?
White... gray... black... etc...?


1012010010202102010002222202012202020200120021


Base 3 computing systems? That would require a re-thinking of every logical system we have today. Currently the answer to every question is yes or no. In the future will it be Yes no or maybe? who can say for sure. I'm thinking its going to be less of a Woz level topic and more of a Hawking level topic. Carbon nanotubes are currently tricky little devils. the problem with them is that the only wat to arrange them is one at a time. You can't grow them in a single place for instance. Each has to be "Assembled" and placed individually. For even the simplest wristwatch sized computing ships, this is an insurmountable task. There's also molecular cascade computing which can be used to simulate a logic gate that is only tens of nanometers wide. Again, Molecular cascades must be set up and can only perform one calculation making them anything but practical. The third area of future chip research makes use of electron spin states. An electron spins as it moves around. If one could control the electrons spining to guide it and keep it from bumping into things, one could foreseeably reduce the resistance, power consumption, and heat generated by a chip, while increasing its power and efficiency handsomely.

Pie in the sky right now I'm afraid.

On a Base 3 Number system, assuming the same decimal values for ASCII characters, Hello would be represented by the following.

02200 10202 11000 11000 11010

72 101 108 108 111

or, in binary

01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111

It seems more efficient, but first we would have to devize storage media, volatile and non-volatile that could support the numbers. i.e. we would need an HD whose molocules could be flat one way <_, erect |, or flat the other way _>. Very complex stuff.

I am a total tool. Bored, I actually read the article. Boy do i feel like an idiot. Thinking that I was actually giving some insightful information. I essentially parrotted what the article said. Foolish me. I shall read the article before posting from now on.

zv470
Jun 13, 2006, 09:33 PM
SPUY767... well, what I'm waiting for is Analog computing, let's go beyond this discrete way of thinking, binary, ternary, they are all limited. Computers should be able to compute at infinite precision. Then we wouldn't have to worry about 32bit vs. 64bit cores etc... heh :)

scibry
Jun 14, 2006, 01:51 AM
this is great news. and i like that there's competition. and it's amazing that they're below 40 (unit) in size.