Friday, November 20, 2015

Forget my blog yesterday - Check this one out instead!



If you read yesterday’s blog then you know that computers are soon to become much faster which is a good thing for all of us. But I just discovered something that makes the new chips being manufactured by IBM a thing of the past before they even become available!

According to Max Shulaker, one of the designers of this new chip (a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford University in California) a new method of computer chip design and manufacturing could lead to processing speeds at least 1,000 times faster than anything available today.  Just imagine what we could do with our computers with that kind of processing power!

Instead of silicon based chips carbon nanotubes would be used to produce 3D chips allowing both memory and processors to be stored together in the same space. The theory is that the less distance these two elements are from each other the faster they can communicate allowing the computer to be much faster at doing its work – at least 1,000 times faster than today’s technology is capable of.

It’s all about waiting for the information in your computer’s memory to be retrieved by the processing section. According to Shulaker when your computer is busy processing over 96% of that time it is actually sitting idle and “waiting” for the required information to be retrieved from the hard drive. Less than 4% of the time required to perform a function is actually required for calculations. To make a long story short, the use of carbon nanotubes in place of silicon based chips is a way around this problem.

There are other technical problems involved with building a better, faster computer that would be quite technical to delve into here but it suffices to say that the use of the new 3D design along with a unique architecture (a system for stacking memory and transistor layers, with tiny wires connecting the two) it’s fair to say that these problems have been solved thus allowing a computer to be built that is 1,000 times (or more) faster than anything we have ever seen before. The next step for developers is to scale the system down to an even smaller scale allowing even bigger and much more complicated chips to be produced.

I don’t know when this new technology will be available or what it will cost but I suspect that in the foreseeable future we will all be able to afford a new computer that will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

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