Tuesday, April 12, 2005

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS DEVELOPS "WORLDS FASTEST" COMPUTER CHIP: Researches at the University of Illinois claimed to have developed an experimental chip, where transistors cycle on and off 600 billion times a second, breaking the previous record of 560 billion cycles set by Japanese researchers. U of I scientists hope to increase the speed to 1 trillion cycles, or hertz, by next year. Current chips cycle transistors 60 billion to 100 billion times per second, where these relatively sluggish speeds cause communications bottlenecks.

The university has applied for a patent on the chip, built from indium phosphide and indium gallium arsenide semiconductors.

Initially, such chips would cost about 100 times more to manufacture than conventional silicon chips, however, mass production could cut manufacturing costs by about 90 percent. Before that happens, though, engineers would have to figure out how to reduce the chip's power usage so that it doesn't overheat (also referred to as "current density")

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