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The Future Of Computer Chips-Computer Maintenance Westlake Village

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Intel and IBM Reveal the Future of Computer Chips

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microchipThe past 24 hours have seen two of the biggest names in technology reveal the future of computer chips — intentionally or otherwise.

A leaked document from Intel shows the company setting the bar for the next generation of processors, which should start to roll out early next year. Meanwhile, IBM has laid out its long view of processing technology, beginning to chart the undiscovered country of what comes after silicon becomes obsolete. The company has demonstrated some of these emerging techs, which often outperform their silicon equivalents and can be built using similar production techniques. Affordable certified computer maintenance and IT support for business in Westlake Village.

The Coming of Ivy

In a leaked document reported by X-Bit Labs, Intel reveals its product road map for Ivy Bridge, the next wave of computer chips that will soon be in PCs and Macs. Ivy Bridge is the company’s push into the 22-nanometer range of microprocessors. The smaller chips get, the greater their processing frequencies.

Ivy Bridge means machines with nearly 4GHz of processing power, according to the document. Intel’s top-of-the-line Core i7 processor will boast 3.9GHz in a quad-core design, meaning that separate parts of the chip can work independently up to that speed. This is useful in software, such as games, that can have multiple operations at once. The lowest-end chip, a Core i5 design, will still be a quad-core running at 2.7GHz, still fairly speedy by today’s standards.

The Future Of Computer Chips-Computer Maintenance Westlake Village.

Although the Ivy Bridge chips use a novel technology known as Tri-Gate, they’re still based on silicon. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore famously wrote about how the number of transistors on silicon chips would double roughly every two years, and technology has generally stayed at that pace. It’s so consistent that the observation has become known as Moore’s Law.

While chipmakers are still probing the depths to which they go in terms of keeping the number of those transistors ever-increasing, they will hit that limit soon, experts say. Once circuitry is shrunk to around seven nanometers, quantum effects start to take over, and it will be impossible to go any smaller — not with silicon, anyway.

Beyond Silicon

Meanwhile, IBM just showcased its long-term plan, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, for going beyond silicon and taking processing power to new heights. The company is betting on three technologies: carbon nanotubes, graphene, and something called “racetrack memory.”

The first approach would involve swapping out silicon in favor of carbon. IBM described how the company built a transistor made out of carbon nanotubes in the 10-nanometer range. Besides the attractively small size, it outperformed silicon in several key metrics.

Graphene, discovered in 2004, has been hailed as a new kind of wonder substance — though it’s essentially a form of carbon as well, similar to pencil lead. Graphene is the king of small — it’s just one atom thick — and it’s highly conductive. IBM built the first graphene circuit earlier this year, and now it says it can build graphene chips using production lines usually used for silicon, which bodes well for mass production.

Racetrack memory involves replacing flash memory, used in everything from iPhones to SD cards, with microscopic magnets shifted along tiny wire loops called nanowires. IBM has demonstrated this tech, too, also built with normal product lines.

The Need for (Processing) Speed

Think your computer’s fast enough? That’s great, but there are tons of applications for the emerging technologies that are dying for more progress in processing power. Games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 push today’s machines to their limits, and the vision of developers is only limited by the processing power of the machines.

In addition, the entire fields of quantum computing and hypercomputing depend on taking processing power to heretofore uncharted levels. IBM itself has big plans for new platforms that emerge from its much-publicized Watson project, and those would need advanced processing power as well.

While the future of computers is still uncertain, in short, chipmakers are working furiously to ensure it doesn’t come to a dead stop.

The Future Of Computer Chips-Computer Maintenance Westlake Village.

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