Chip-Shrinking May Be Nearing Its Limits

Sixty years after transistors were invented and nearly five decades since they were first integrated into silicon chips, the tiny on-off switches dubbed the "nerve cells" of the information age are starting to show their age.

The devices - whose miniaturization over time set in motion the race for faster, smaller and cheaper electronics - have been shrunk so much that the day is approaching when it will be physically impossible to make them even tinier.

Once chip makers can't squeeze any more into the same-sized slice of silicon, the dramatic performance gains and cost reductions in computing over the years could suddenly slow. And the engine that's driven the digital revolution - and modern economy - could grind to a halt.

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OpiZA4735d ago

Lol at the engine metaphor. Overly dramatic journo

v1c1ous4735d ago

and only one spec will be used to make all games equal

Lotto4735d ago

Meh they say this every year

xc7x4735d ago

although inevitable [but who knows when that happens] it is more speculation as usual

bootsielon4735d ago (Edited 4735d ago )

Furthermore, IBM has reached 2 Terahertz in their labs, and promises to reach that speed in room temperature (As they've already done that with 300 Ghz). Furthermore, there have been breakthroughs in silicon processors to use photonic effects in order to enhance performance between cores. Silicon processors still have plenty of life going on for them.

Besides, there's gonna be a quantic computer revolution, not to mention there are also possibilities with DNA, rendering the problem null.


It's too bleeding edge and I don't know much, but supposedly, you can use DNA to process and store information (after all, DNA contains information), and it would supposedly be a lot faster than current processors. I don't know the details, but I bet there's more information on quantum computers than DNA computers; my bet is that the later won't even come into fruition, or who knows, perhaps a mixed of both. I've even heard about "Water computers", but about that I seriously don't know anything.

iceman29294735d ago

i've heard of quantic computors... but DNA ? care to explain??

B Man4735d ago (Edited 4735d ago )

A year or two ago they hotwired a deceased rats brain to run a calculator program. Not much at all, but it's the first step.

By the time they run out of ways to make chips smaller there will be an entirely new device to replace chips... whether it be organic or whatever. This isn't going to happen for a long time though.

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