The Future of the CPU?

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amdfangirl

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Riiight point K at your doorstep? Never gonna work.
 

fazers_on_stun

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But you'd be close, if you lived out in the Oort cloud :). Maybe 5 degrees K - a little refrigeration and you're there!

The ballistic transistors article looked interesting - sorta like the integrated vacuum devices of the 1980s which resembled vacuum tubes operating at 5 volts instead of hundreds of volts, and used electron emitters that were basically pyramids ending in a point a few mils (millionths of an inch) across so as to generate the necessary voltage gradients to operate at such low voltages. However the vacuum devices used a grid-like structure to control the electron flow to a fixed collector, not steer it to different targets. Mainly of interest to the military and space applications since these devices were inherently much more radiation-hardened than semiconductors.
 

novusbogus

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Theoretically optical and/or biomachinery is the future, but part of me wonders if that stuff will ever even be necessary outside of the scientific community. Aside from hard drives, specs and performance increase seem to be slowing down and, perhaps more importantly, the rate at which minimum specs for games and stuff increase also seems to be slowing down. Could we be approaching the point where the limiting factor is software development and we go from a performance arms race to focusing on features and selling 'old' chips?

Perhaps computing hardware will go the way of cars and appliances where simply having one is what matters, rather than how new it is.
 

rags_20

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Yes. Fiberoptics. Now in a CPU, copper is used to transfer data. This greatly limits the no. of transistors that can be built in. Intel is already working on a CPU that sends data through light. This is not only faster, but also decreases the size of the CPU and will result in greater performance.
 

Distinct

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Is nanotechnology going to assist CPU technology in the future? Or is fiber optics a more practical development right now?
 

rags_20

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Fiber optics plays a major role. It was like Intel kept on increasing their clocks until heat became an issue. But on the size issue, I just found the article I had read a long time ago! Yay! Atomic scale computing! Here you go. http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=2926

On a side note: AMD fangirl, WOW!!!! That's a first. 14 yrs!! And an eternal poster. Miracles never cease.
 

fazers_on_stun

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Rags, that was a very interesting article - thanks for the link :). Reminds me of a patent I once saw, using similar STM techniques, of moving atoms around on a nickel substrate to form logic circuitry. The atoms "stick" in place due to the Van der Waals forces, except certain atoms exhibit much less stickiness. So to form a flip-flop, you make a loop of sticky atoms, but leaving a gap at the end of the loop, and using a loose atom in the loop nearest the end. You then send an electron merrily buzzing along the loop, and when it gets to the end, its EMF causes the loose atom to move out of the loop, so that when the electron bounces off the gap to buzz out of the loop, it gets stuck by the new gap caused by the atom moving away..

 

fazers_on_stun

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Most science is not that hard to understand, except maybe for the 'spooky" quantum stuff. If science or engineering is your interest, study hard and get into a good college, & you'll pick it up. And maybe start reading some science magazines, such as Scientific American, or the NZ equivalent, in the meantime :).

Also, using "Oort cloud" in casual conversation is good :D.
 

rags_20

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I still can't believe 14 year old girls post in this forum.
And I agree with fazers. Science is not hard as long as you don't read it in school. I don't know about you, but I never used to like to study Science in school. Preferred to do it by myself.
 

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