Items tagged with transistors

Moore's Law, as revised in 1975, states the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit will double around every two years. The observation is named after Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, and it's driven processor design for several decades. But what happens when Moore's Law is no longer feasible? Researchers from North Carolina State University believe the solution lies in reconfigurable chaos-based microchips. The smartypants researchers at NC State have gone and developed new, nonlinear, chaos-based integrated circuits that enable computer processors to perform multiple functions while also using fewer transistors. They can be built with off-the-shelf... Read more...
It's a pretty remarkable thing that, for the most part, Moore's Law has been accurate for over 50 years, helping to set the pace for processor design for several decades. However, Moore's Law is in serious trouble of being broken if, as a group of researchers predict, transistors stop shrinking within the next five years. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) recently put the final touches on its 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), a collaborative report that surveys the technological hurdles and opportunities for the semiconductor industry through 2030. In it researchers surmise that companies will no longer find that it makes good fiscal sense to continue... Read more...
On the consumer side, we're accustomed to chip makers introducing increasingly smaller and faster processors, as has been the case over the past several decades. But like trying to fold a piece of paper in half over and over again, there comes a point where going smaller may require new methods. The semiconductor industry is nearly at that point, so what's the solution? It could be carbon nanotubes. IBM today announced an engineering breakthrough that could fast track the replacement of silicon transistors with carbon nanotubes. That breakthrough is a new way of shrinking transistor contacts without hampering performance of carbon nanotube devices, which in turn could lead to "dramatically faster,... Read more...
Three atoms thick. According to a paper published this week in the science journal Nature by a group of researchers from Cornell University, that is the breadth of the transistors that can now be produced using an experimental — and highly conductive — material called transition metal dichalcogenide (also called a TMD). We aren't talking five atoms thick, or even four (because any schmoe with a hobbyist chemistry set can do that), but transistors rendered at a thickness of just three atoms. As it applies to theoretical science and human achievement, the harnessing of TMD for practical use is quite remarkable. It is the prospective leaps that could potentially be made in technological hardware... Read more...
The transistor is one of the most profound innovations in all of human existence. First discovered in 1947, it has scaled like no advance in human history; we can pack billions of transistors into complicated processors smaller than your thumbnail. After decades of innovation, however, the transistor has faltered. Clock speeds stalled in 2005 and the 20nm process node is set to be more expensive than the 28nm node was for the first time ever. Now, researchers at NASA believe they may have discovered a way to kickstart transistors again -- by using technology from the earliest days of computing:  The vacuum tube. No, really.  Stop laughing. Once upon a time, vacuum tubes were the fundamental... Read more...
The answer of course is Intel's upcoming Itanium brand CPU codenamed Tukwila.While we tend to focus a lot of our attention on the desktop market, we cannot help but be impressed by server CPUs when we hear figures like 2 billion transistors or 30 MB of on-die cache that make up a good portion of those transistors.  “The new Itanium processor will be built on the company’s 65-nanometer manufacturing process and will also be one of the first Intel chips to use the company’s QuickPath interconnect technology—an integrated memory controller. (Advanced Micro Devices already uses an integrated memory controller with its x86 Opteron processors.)”Perhaps the most overlooked benefit of using Intel's... Read more...