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Terahertz processors?

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June 8, 2010 2:53:03 PM

http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/processors...

With Moore's law hitting a stone wall in the not too distant future, and the laws of physics prevent the transistor from possibly becoming any smaller. What will electronic engineers and computer scientists do to make micro-processors faster, more powerful, and efficient without trying to further decrease the size of the transistor?

Apparently, some scientists have found a method of switching transistors back and forth using pulses of light, instead of electrical current. Such technology could in theory allow micro-processors to run at speeds of a few TeraHertz, or 1,000 Gigahertz, that's more than 1,000 times faster than what we have today, and produce very little heat. Imagine a CPU with 80 or more highly parrallelized cores each running at a speed of 3 THz Could this give home computers PetaFLOP or even ExaFLOP computing power? Could this technology be applied to graphics processing units, as well as other types of micro-processors?

It is utterly impossible to run any of today's micro-processors at speeds of THz.

I can't even imagine how a GPU using this technology would run Crysis. It could probably handle the GPU and CPU segments. :o  :o  :o 

Although I don't think we'll be seeing this technology in home computers for a very long time even if they do start making microchips out of Ballistic Deflection Transistors.

More about : terahertz processors

June 8, 2010 3:02:56 PM

Elevators with "defocused temporal perception." The concept enables the elevator to see far enough into the future to arrive at a floor before a potential passenger realizes they want it.
June 8, 2010 3:04:47 PM

misry said:
Elevators with "defocused temporal perception." The concept enables the elevator to see far enough into the future to arrive at a floor before a potential passenger realizes they want it.


????
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June 8, 2010 3:10:05 PM

misry said:
Processors so fast they can see into the future.


Great Scott!

June 8, 2010 3:10:21 PM

ambam said:
????


Processors so fast they can see into the future.
June 8, 2010 3:12:35 PM

OR something like this could result from BDT processors. :D  :D  :D 

June 8, 2010 3:19:23 PM

I wonder if the University of Rochester is up for Grant Renewal soon???
June 8, 2010 3:31:03 PM

that's some Big BAG news.
June 8, 2010 3:43:01 PM

Crysis would still bring those processors to their knees :pt1cable: 
a b à CPUs
June 8, 2010 3:43:34 PM

I can see the energy bill rising just to be able to run these processors at Thz speeds :o  . Light might be more efficient then electrons at transfering energy, but just 1 Thz is 330X faster then most stock processors today. I'm wondering if they would be able to reduce the energy of the signal so that that speed could be reached, at a decent wattage. Besides, most people don't even use the full potential of dual core processors today, what would they do with 80 cores at 3 Thz :sweat:  .
June 8, 2010 3:49:34 PM

Light is composed of electrons. Electricity travels at the speed of light minus the resistance in it's path. 640k should be enough for anyone...
a b à CPUs
June 8, 2010 4:25:42 PM

Hmm, I didn't see anything in the linked article about using light to deflect electrons - instead, from the link within that article:

Quote:
The Ballistic Deflection Transistor (BDT) should produce far less heat and run far faster than standard transistors because it does not start and stop the flow of its electrons the way conventional designs do. It resembles a roadway intersection, except in the middle of the intersection sits a triangular block. From the "south" an electron is fired, as it approaches the crossroads, it passes through an electrical field that pushes the electron slightly east or west. When the electron reaches the middle of the intersection, it bounces off one side of the triangle block and is deflected straight along either the east or west roads. In this way, if the electron current travels along the east road, it may be counted as a zero, and as a one if it travels down the west road.


So apparently it relies upon a small electric field to steer an electron in one direction (logical "one") or another (logical "zero"), as opposed to an ordinary FET that uses an electric field between the gate and substrate to suck up free charges from the substrate into the channel to produce a charge inversion or not (i.e., "on" or "off").

Also from the article:

Quote:
The heat generation for early versions of the design should be around a few microwatts per transistor, Feldman estimates, orders of magnitude less than current high-frequency transistors. "Now that's without doing any tricks to cut down the power," he says. "There are great opportunities for low-power design. But that's the future."


I'm thinking this has to be a typo, since otherwise an i7-980 or 1090T with a billion transistors would use "a few" kilowatts of juice (10^9 X 10^-6 = 10^3).

Finally, last I heard, light is composed of photons (not electrons) that behave like waves...
June 8, 2010 4:58:24 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
Finally, last I heard, light is composed of photons (not electrons) that behave like waves...


You're right. Caring re: this issue completely depleted.
a b à CPUs
June 8, 2010 5:12:56 PM

"Moores Law' - The law that changed twice after the fact in order to become true over a 35 year timespan.

We'll see what quantum/optical processors go, then we can continue this debate. Odds are, we'll move into massivly mutli-cored systems.
a c 103 à CPUs
June 9, 2010 7:47:20 AM

misry said:
Elevators with "defocused temporal perception." The concept enables the elevator to see far enough into the future to arrive at a floor before a potential passenger realizes they want it.


Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy for the damn win :) )
Moto
but there is an inherent problem with that technology, An elevator that sees into the future may not like the future it sees and end up hiding in the basement neurotically,
which leads to hitch hikers making a few easy dollars as Elevator counsellors :p 
June 9, 2010 9:03:39 AM

I doubt we will be needing jigawatts to power it whatever it is. But light is photons. Photons travel in waves. How anyone could alter the direction of light seeing as it cant "bend" in a standard sense. Also about directing electrons, they are just a theory that best explains what is there.
a b à CPUs
June 9, 2010 10:40:19 AM

possiblyreefer said:
I doubt we will be needing jigawatts to power it whatever it is. But light is photons. Photons travel in waves. How anyone could alter the direction of light seeing as it cant "bend" in a standard sense. Also about directing electrons, they are just a theory that best explains what is there.



Light is both a wave and a particle. Really depends on how you look at it.
June 9, 2010 11:12:49 AM

possiblyreefer said:
I doubt we will be needing jigawatts to power it whatever it is. But light is photons. Photons travel in waves. How anyone could alter the direction of light seeing as it cant "bend" in a standard sense. Also about directing electrons, they are just a theory that best explains what is there.


But you *could* change the polarisation to represent a 1 or 0......

(if that's not already patented, I claim it officially as my idea)
June 10, 2010 10:03:18 AM

Could graphics processing units be made from BDT technology? This may be the only way to completely conquer Crysis.
June 10, 2010 3:25:52 PM

ambam said:
Could graphics processing units be made from BDT technology? This may be the only way to completely conquer Crysis.


think about it. if they build in the technology to the GPUs, company such as ATI, Nvidia or any graphic card maker will be to waste. they will be obsolete as soon as "these" cards are thrown out to the streets. saddly Nvidia, Ati, or any graphic card incorporation will be down hill. So by foreseeing these exceptions, it'll be a hard decision for them. but let's not jump to conclusion yet, i would love to see these in A gpu as well to finally take advantage of all software gpu hungry... Let's at least expect this to happen near the future...

time will tell.
a b à CPUs
June 10, 2010 4:52:44 PM

misry said:
Light is composed of electrons. Electricity travels at the speed of light minus the resistance in it's path. 640k should be enough for anyone...


Light is completely different than electrons. Light has no charge. What it does have, though, is wave/particle duality. Nothing else known to humans has that property.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron - nothing about it having anything remotely similar to light.
June 10, 2010 7:38:18 PM

If we get these CPUs in the future, I really would worry about my robot butler.
June 11, 2010 12:54:28 AM

We'll get there eventually. I remember when an 8mb flash drive was a big deal.... Or 64mb or RAM
a b à CPUs
June 11, 2010 1:26:52 AM

goalguy876 said:
We'll get there eventually. I remember when an 8mb flash drive was a big deal.... Or 64mb or RAM

So, you mean were going to make these terahertz processors before the world ends in 2012? That's amazingly fast :p  .
June 11, 2010 3:59:11 PM

WHO KNOWS.... technology is advancing rapidly..
June 14, 2012 1:49:02 PM

Sadly the AMD bulldozer has delayed intels release of there self aware processors so the end of the world isn't until 2013 now. Hopefully this means Intel will be too relaxed to notice AMD is about to kick them up the arse... hopefully the underperforming Bulldozer architecture doesn't financially damage AMD too much for AMD to make a strike back at intel while they're are too busy being smug, drinking wine and belittling AMD.
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2012 2:13:27 PM

wolfram23 said:
Light is completely different than electrons. Light has no charge. What it does have, though, is wave/particle duality. Nothing else known to humans has that property.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron - nothing about it having anything remotely similar to light.

Except matter of course, have a look a de Broglie waves :lol:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_broglie
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2012 5:31:09 PM

jeyd02 said:
WHO KNOWS.... technology is advancing rapidly..


Not really; IMPLEMENTATION of technology is advancing rapidly, but there haven't been any truly groudbreaking new advances in quite some time. We're just getting better at squeezing every last ounce of performance out of the same basic technologies we've been using since the late 60's.
a c 227 à CPUs
June 14, 2012 6:29:22 PM

You new posters do realize this thread is 2 years old.........
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 7, 2013 2:36:57 PM

Ban, really don't talk about.
Produce some of that :sleep:  .
July 19, 2013 6:04:20 AM

Not to revive an old thread, but the so-called AMD company released a 5.0 GHz processor two days ago, and they were also the first to release a 1.00 GHz processor (Athlon) 13 years ago. at this rate, we will reach our goal in another 2600 years or so.

Haserath said:
I can see the energy bill rising just to be able to run these processors at Thz speeds :o  . Light might be more efficient then electrons at transfering energy, but just 1 Thz is 330X faster then most stock processors today. I'm wondering if they would be able to reduce the energy of the signal so that that speed could be reached, at a decent wattage. Besides, most people don't even use the full potential of dual core processors today, what would they do with 80 cores at 3 Thz :sweat:  .


Now it's only 200X faster! :D 
!