IBM Researchers Demonstrate World's Fastest Computer Circuits

Experimental Design Runs at Five Times the Speed of Current Fastest Chips; Could Cut Power Consumption in Half

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Speeding Up the Clock</span></strong></p><p><span>The key to the IPCMOS design is a distributed &quot;clock&quot; function. In computer chips, the clock paces the speed of the circuits. St & ard designs use a centralized clock to synchronize the operations of an entire chip, ensuring that all operations run at the same interval, or cycle. The clock waits for all the operations on a chip to finish before starting the next cycle, so the speed of the entire chip is limited to the pace of the slowest operation. To increase the speed, the IBM researchers decentralized the clock, using locally generated clocks to run smaller sections of circuits. This locally generated clock has two significant advantages:</span></p><p><span> - 07 Feb 2000:

using copper interconnects, novel circuit design, and dynamic programmable logic arrays to achieve frequencies of 1GHz or more using existing production technology with a short-pipeline architecture.

Embedded DRAM -- demonstration of a unique copper-based embedded DRAM design with density comparable to DRAM and speed comparable to the fastest SRAM. The design could be used in future GHz system-on-a-chip products, and would provide a data-transfer rate of 1 terabit per second.

760 MHz S/390 G6 Microprocessor -- a high-speed complex instruction set chip used in the first commercial server powered by copper interconnect technology, offering 27% frequency improvement over the previous-generation processor.

"Millipede" -- a prototype micromechanical device for high-density storage that would use an array of 1,000 tiny cantilevers to read and write data -- with possible storage densities of over 400 billion bits per square inch (400 Gbit/in2).

MRAM -- an experimental solid-state memory technology that could someday lead to truly non-volatile random access memory with both the high speed of SRAM and the high density of DRAM.

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