Fast and cold: 500 billion cycles per second, in fact.

By | June 22, 2006

Fast and cold 500 billion cycles per second in fact

IBM and the Georgia Institute of Technology announced today that their researchers have demonstrated the first silicon-based chip capable of operating at frequencies above 500 GHz — 500 billion cycles per second — by cryogenically ?freezing? the chip to 451 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (4.5 Kelvins). Such extremely cold temperatures are found naturally only in outer space, but can be artificially achieved on Earth using ultra-cold materials such as liquid helium. (Absolute Zero, the coldest possible temperature in nature, occurs at minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit).? … Computer simulations suggest that the silicon-germanium (SiGe) technology used in the chip could ultimately support even higher (near-TeraHertz ? 1,000 GHz) operational frequencies even at room temperature.? … SiGe is a process technology in which the electrical properties of silicon, the material underlying virtually all modern microchips, is augmented with germanium to make chips operate more efficiently. SiGe boosts performance and reduces power consumption in chips that go into cellular phones and other advanced communication devices. – ibm

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