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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20th June, 2006, 07:58 PM
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IBM reaches 500Ghz transistor switching

Using extreme measures IBM has reached a frequency of 500Ghz with a chip built with SeGe chips. Also -269°C is involved

This test is probably meant to provide some intelligence to the engineers working on increasing clockspeeds in real applications. It is of course a pretty cool record

I'm also pretty sure some of you guys reading this will have some additional comments

http://news.com.com/2100-1006_3-6085...5568&subj=news
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Old 20th June, 2006, 08:07 PM
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They state that they were able to reach about 300 GHz at room temp, too.
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Old 20th June, 2006, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
At room temperature, the IBM-Georgia Tech chip operates at 350GHz, or 350 billion cycles per second.
I'll take mine in black

EDIT = pah Gizmo beat me
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Old 20th June, 2006, 08:29 PM
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Definitely shows some potential. How come we still don't have serious cooling yet though...

Come on, LN2 is for wusses. Bring on the LHe. Better yet, lets see some laser cooling!
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Old 20th June, 2006, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
Definitely shows some potential. How come we still don't have serious cooling yet though...

Come on, LN2 is for wusses. Bring on the LHe. Better yet, lets see some laser cooling!
is that actually physically possible? I've got the best cooling...outer space! since there are no gas particles in space, or very small amounts of them, it means that there's also very little heat out there because there's nowhere to transfer the heat to. So forget the LHe, bring on the Vacuum cooling.
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Old 20th June, 2006, 11:36 PM
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http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/ptech/0...eut/index.html


some more info there...
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Old 21st June, 2006, 01:50 AM
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What about using light? What happened to that?
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Old 21st June, 2006, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloasters
What about using light? What happened to that?
What do you think 500 GHz is, dude?!
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Old 5th July, 2006, 02:18 AM
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wait I though you can't swich silicone chips at more then 60 Ghz? Also why aren't these sold on the market at a premium price?
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Old 5th July, 2006, 03:06 AM
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At last, something I don't have to blink to mis!

Any faster and they will answer before we ask the question...how boring would that be!
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Old 5th July, 2006, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madcatmk3
wait I though you can't swich silicone chips at more then 60 Ghz? Also why aren't these sold on the market at a premium price?
The article says that the chips use both Silicon and Germanium. Germanium is capable of switching quite a bit faster than Silicon, but is harder to work with, IIRC, hence the reason that we don't just use germanium.

In addition, the article noted that this was an experiment. These are not production devices.
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Old 5th July, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Germanium is currently used for high frequency RF chips, because it does switch much faster. As Gizmo points out, it's much harder to work with, the transistor density is lower and it's more expensive.

However, just being able to switch faster doesn't mean you can produce a CPU from it. There are other issues such as flight time that affect how fast you can process information. Flight time is how long it takes the signal to travel from one part of the circuit to the next. As you clock faster, the allowable flight time is shorter. As the clock increases, eventually you get to the point where there isn't enough time for the signal to make it to the next part for when it's needed.
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Old 5th July, 2006, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
Germanium is currently used for high frequency RF chips, because it does switch much faster. As Gizmo points out, it's much harder to work with, the transistor density is lower and it's more expensive.

However, just being able to switch faster doesn't mean you can produce a CPU from it. There are other issues such as flight time that affect how fast you can process information. Flight time is how long it takes the signal to travel from one part of the circuit to the next. As you clock faster, the allowable flight time is shorter. As the clock increases, eventually you get to the point where there isn't enough time for the signal to make it to the next part for when it's needed.
Ya after asking later I kind of realised since I rembered reading something like that. ANyway thanks for clearing it up. But does germanium make that much of a differance? Does that mean someone might b able to oneday create a synthetic substance that could clock in the petra territory? Or is that limited by the amount of transistor we can physically fit onto silicone?
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Last edited by madcatmk3; 5th July, 2006 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 6th July, 2006, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
What do you think 500 GHz is, dude?!
Ohh...I knew that. Were the first transistors germanium? I seem to remember that. The very first pocket transistor radios were a BIG deal. Absolutely amazing they were, no lie.
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Old 6th July, 2006, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloasters
Were the first transistors germanium? I seem to remember that.
As a matter of fact, they were. Germanium is a better conductor of electricity than silicon. It's just that it is a fair bit more difficult to work with, so it fills those niche applications where speed is paramount.
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Old 6th July, 2006, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madcatmk3
Does that mean someone might b able to oneday create a synthetic substance that could clock in the petra territory?
There are other issues at extremely high frequencies. Once you're into the THz range you're into the frequency of light. PHz is the region that contains UV and X-Ray radiation. I suspect that at such frequencies the speed of electrons in anything isn't fast enough to keep up.
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Old 6th July, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
As a matter of fact, they were. Germanium is a better conductor of electricity than silicon. It's just that it is a fair bit more difficult to work with, so it fills those niche applications where speed is paramount.
Not really harder to work with. Just much less abundant than Si.
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Old 6th July, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
There are other issues at extremely high frequencies. Once you're into the THz range you're into the frequency of light. PHz is the region that contains UV and X-Ray radiation. I suspect that at such frequencies the speed of electrons in anything isn't fast enough to keep up.
I think its feasible to say that quantum computers will be more widespread than they are today before we have issues with electrons being too slow.
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Old 6th July, 2006, 10:03 AM
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We're already having issues with electrons being too slow...

For example, a PCB that's Polyimide based has a propagation velocity of 173mm/nS. Whilst that might sound fast, it doesn't take very much to upset the leading edge of a signal. When dealing with high speed logic (such as GDDR), the margin for error is tiny. Looking at PCI Express, the effective operating frequency of a link is 7GHz, due to the rise time (50pS). (Don't confuse this with the clock frequency of the link - they are different.)
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Last edited by Áedán; 6th July, 2006 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 6th July, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
We're already having issues with electrons being too slow...

For example, a PCB that's Polyimide based has a propagation velocity of 173mm/nS. Whilst that might sound fast, it doesn't take very much to upset the leading edge of a signal. When dealing with high speed logic (such as GDDR), the margin for error is tiny. Looking at PCI Express, the effective operating frequency of a link is 7GHz, due to the rise time (50pS). (Don't confuse this with the clock frequency of the link - they are different.)
When you say, upset the leading edge of a signal. Do you mean to say, that at those speeds (while sounding fast) is easily suseptible to interference?
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