Fahrenheit 451

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2006 - 12:23 PM |

Imagine having someone give you an experimental chip, and telling you to overclock it as far as it will go, no matter what it takes.   The chip runs at 350GHz, but by reducing the temperature to 8 degrees above absolute zero, it was run at 500GHz.  Drop by CNET for more info.

"The experiment is part of a project to explore the ultimate speed limits of silicon-germanium (SiGe)

chips. SiGe chips are similar to standard silicon chips, but they also contain germanium for better

performance and lower power consumption.

Adding germanium, however, increases the price of producing wafers and chips that come out of the

wafers, so SiGe chips are typically only found in a few select markets. IBM has sold hundreds of

millions of SiGe chips since it began selling them in 1998, but the cell phone industry gobbles up

billions of plain silicon chips annually. (Germanium is sprinkled into standard silicon chips: Intel

adds minute amounts of the element to create strained silicon in its processors)."

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