The future with no clocks.

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by coeus, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. coeus macrumors member

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    Apr 3, 2002
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    albany, western australia
    #1
    Theres a story at OSOpinion about scientist getting rid of the clock for the standard CPU.
    http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/17183.html

    Im surpised by this story because it says getting rid of the clock could improve speed and reliability. It also says that hackers would have a harder time cracking stuff (worried about hardware copyright protection yet?)

    The G7/8 should incorperate these features. Motorola and IBM better start investing now because it IS the future. Im guessing with the rate of technological development, itll take about 6-8 years. Phillips have allready created CPUs with no clock, so now its just a matter of scale and time.

    In 6-8 years time the G7/8 should be around the 5-6GHz mark and Intel chips should be around the 10-11 GHz mark. And thankfully Moores law will have kicked in by then and Intel WILL have to go back to the drawing board.

    Then, we can all say good by to our scummy PCs and replace them all with Quantum Computers. Intel, being as they are, will most likely create the first consumer and server QCPUs.

    ...only time will tell...
     
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #2
    This is very cool, but it is not something we'll see in computers for quite a few years.

    In addition to boosting security, asynchronous technology also could keep devices cooler and eventually make them smaller. Yakovlev said that since computer clocks generate heat and high frequencies, removing the clock would let portable devices run on less power, making further miniaturization possible.

    The whole speed, size and heat issue become irrelevant, if they can get it to work in cpus, then we'll see a small revolution in computing:D
     
  3. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    Portland, OR
    #3
    Re: The future with no clocks.

    Technology Review had an article on asynchronous chips. Apparently Intel made an asynchronous Pentium that ran at twice the speed on half the power, but it took too much work to be practical. Also, if the G7/8 is asynchronous it won't have a MHz/GHz rating. MHz measures the clockspeed and asynchronous chips don't have clocks. The Pentium 4 uses a variation on it, the simple integer ALUs are double clocked because simple integer ops take less time. However, I've read that that the amount of work necessary to clock a big chip like that 2.4 billion times a second eats up about a third of its performance. I don't know how accurate that is.
     
  4. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

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    #4
    this all sounds good, especially the bit about Intel going back to the drawing board!:D hopefully this will be the start of the next computer revolution.
     
  5. iGav macrumors G3

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    Mar 9, 2002
    #5
    Judging by Motorola's recent efforts.... they've already forgotten about the clock...:p
     
  6. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

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    Location:
    Sydney
    #6
    or maybe they should buy one to realise how long they take to crank out updates
    but no clock sounds interesting
    I would like to learn more about this
     
  7. gbojim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    #7
    Actually...

    It appears Motorola is already incorporating some of these concepts in the G5. They have not released much technical info about it, but they have been bragging about how the peripheral ports on the G5 chip are connected with this thing they are calling Ocean.

    According to their documentation, Ocean is based on a technology called a crossbar switch. Traditionally, communication between crossbar switch ports has been asynchronous which ties in nicely with the article at osopinion.com.
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

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    Mar 9, 2002
    #8
    Motorola's bragging.........:eek:

    This worries me.......:p
     
  9. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #9
    If Motorola can pull this off in the G5, that's going to be one hell of a CPU. That would be cool, new enclosure design, new CPU architecture - the next step in computing.

    The waits going to be painfully slow.
     
  10. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #10
    Can Motorola pull this off though?? :confused:

    After their last 3 years I wouldn't bet my house on it....?:p

    So what would this mean to CPU develop?? How much more speed? run cooler? etc etc.......

    Need Input.............
     
  11. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #11
    asynchronous has huge potential. Smaller, cooler and faster chips would be nice in a desktop, but they're almost custom made for laptops! No more heat issues and power to spare. Battery life lasts longer. This will be huge, I'm only worried its still pretty much R&D and will need more time to get the whole processor asynchronous. But by slowly updating different parts of the chip, it could happen in a few chip versions.
     
  12. pc_convert? macrumors regular

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    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Asynchronous CPUs are very interesting but it will take more than a couple of years before consumers can get hold of them.

    The problem is asynchronous design is very different to standard synchronous design techniques. Modern CPU designers have lots of expensive software that is good for synchronous design. But software for asynchronous design is barely exsistent.

    The AMULET project is a very interesting read. I also found a story about a couple of silicon valley start-ups working in this area on wired.com but I can't find it now.
     

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