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200 GHz Diamond Substrate CPUs Soon?

evotucevotuc Senior MemberPosts: 983Registered Users
edited January 2011 in Technology
All good things come to an end. We have been riding the gravy train that is silicon for a very long time. It is plentiful, cheap and easy to work with. But it has its limits, which are painfully obvious at this point.

It looks as though quantum computing is still a long way off and its benefits questionable. As a matter of fact, there are algorithms which can make a recent computer run very much like a basic quantum computer, almost nullifying years of work and the billions spent on research.

So, what will we see replace our aging infrastructure? There are two major contenders that look promising.

Photonics- Instead of sending electrical pulses through our motherboards, CPUs, and RAM, why not pulses of light? This is being worked out right now. This concept is very viable and the benefits are many. A lack of heat, far less power consumption and incredibly fast and broad data transmission just to name a few.

Diamond Substrate- The problem with silicon is that we have reached its limits in terms of heat. An overclock reaching 5GHz will turn our CPUs into goo without extreme forms of heat dissipation. For quite a while now, we have had the ability to bond carbon atoms to cheaply grow diamonds, which can withstand far greater temperatures than silicon. This could allow for clock speeds as high as 200GHz. Notice that this article was written in 2003.

Are we there yet?
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  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    3 reasons to choose Light...

    Light is probably the direction both from the standpoint that information is already conveyed in this manner in commercial applications, and also because it comlpletely obviates the needs for materials not already in existence/commercial production because heat is not a factor. Finally, until we have achieved speeds faster than light, it is difficult to understand how or why we would go in another direction from a speed standpoint...
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  • DarkSideHomeDarkSideHome Senior Member Posts: 1,549Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    Photonics in ICs are dedicated right now to transmission from one part of the IC to another. This is a promising field and I know people who are working for an IT giant as part of the team developing this technology. Don't be surprised to see it used in Datacenters and blad computers within a decade. Using photonics as a computing device would not offer much.


    Diamond substrate would be a tougher tech to judge. It will all come down to economies of scale. Which will be cheaper? Building 20 silicon based ICs or a single diamond based IC that does the same job? Are IC manufacturers willing to leave silicon behind? Even with the silly price of silicon as a resource, the manufacturing process is prohibitively expensive and most IC manufacturers have razor thin profit margin already.


    But all of this discussion imo is useless because technology revolution happens in an unpredicted manner (evolution is incremental and slow and predictable vs revolution which is quite the opposite). We can predict how an existing technology would evolve, but not what would replace it.
  • evotucevotuc Senior Member Posts: 983Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    Basic overview of silicon photonics:

    Working prototype:
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  • evotucevotuc Senior Member Posts: 983Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    3 reasons to choose Light...

    Light is probably the direction both from the standpoint that information is already conveyed in this manner in commercial applications, and also because it comlpletely obviates the needs for materials not already in existence/commercial production because heat is not a factor. Finally, until we have achieved speeds faster than light, it is difficult to understand how or why we would go in another direction from a speed standpoint...

    Photonics has its downside as well. Darkside makes this point above. While the data transmission does indeed move at the speed of light, it still depends on electrical pulses at either end. On one end, the pulse is translated into light, then the light must be converted back into electricity in order to be processed or stored. This is like getting off the freeway and waiting at an intersection.

    Actually, I ran across an article, not too long ago, that described a process of using quantum entangled light as a form of memory. If a crystal was hit with one laser, the light wouldn't go through. If a second laser hit it from a different angle, both lasers passed through. This is a qubit. On, off and both on and off. Weird. Of course, this is all from memory. I will try to find the article again. I really should share this stuff when I find it. The best part about playing games, for me, is the technology behind them.


    Edit: I couldn't find the exact article that I was talking about. What I did learn though, is that there are different ways of using crystals and lasers to hold information.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/06/24/2935654.htm
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  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    Albeit the distances are smaller in an ATX form factor, regardless of the limitations at either end, any distance traversed by light will be faster than a distance at which the entire length is traversed by an electronic signal. Conversion of signal as used by Lucent, for example, have long been bringing down the transaction cost, and given the problem is one of engineering rather than discovery, while we cannot rule out new possibilities, I believe the question was based on these two choices which horse would I bet on. ;)
    ( I knew I was right to let you think you were out of bounds in that other topic! LOL)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

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  • ReinierReinier Member Posts: 44Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    They wouldnt make a quantum leap from 2Ghz-5Ghz to 200Ghz that soon :p everyone knows their going to release faster processors little by little so they can milk it as long as possible and only release the good stuff when their competition has something better released.
  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    While I do not entirely agree, there is some basis for some of this 'economic limits to competitive limits' idea - Sandy Bridge's limited objectives seem a perfect example of this to me. Intel already owns top drawer, what is the purpose in beating their own dog? (to completly mix metaphors :) )
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
  • ToxicseagullToxicseagull Senior Member Posts: 944Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    5.2ghz commerical cpu without need for LN2 or even liquid.
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/06/ibm-claims-worlds-fastest-processor-with-5-2ghz-z196/

    by diamond substrate do you mean the most likely of the next material candiates..graphene? well ibm have recently said it wont replace, but will suppliment silicon in CPU's
    http://www.tgdaily.com/hardware-features/53714-ibm-graphene-wont-replace-cpu-silicon
  • evotucevotuc Senior Member Posts: 983Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    5.2ghz commerical cpu without need for LN2 or even liquid.
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/06/ibm-claims-worlds-fastest-processor-with-5-2ghz-z196/

    That is astounding! But, keep in mind, this is an exception. I was merely commenting in the context of consumer chips available to us at the moment.

    by diamond substrate do you mean the most likely of the next material candiates..graphene? well ibm have recently said it wont replace, but will suppliment silicon in CPU's
    http://www.tgdaily.com/hardware-features/53714-ibm-graphene-wont-replace-cpu-silicon

    Graphene is a form of carbon atoms which are arranged in a sheet. It is considered a two dimensional object because the height of this sheet is only as tall as a carbon atom. This structure is two hundred times stronger than steel. It has been said that you can stand an elephant on a pencil and it wouldn't rip through. Awesome stuff, but it is electrically conductive... It is more conductive than silver, previously the lowest known resistance at room temperature. Why were they even considering this as a substrate? Maybe as a replacement to the electrical pathways, but I believe carbon nano-tubes will take that role.

    Diamond is a three dimensional lattice structure of carbon atoms. It is an electrical insulator, (excluding blue diamonds), with high thermal conductance. This would make for an excellent replacement to silicon, which is an electrical insulator, with only moderate thermal conductance. Diamond can conduct heat as much as five times faster than copper.
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  • evotucevotuc Senior Member Posts: 983Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    :confused:
    ( I knew I was right to let you think you were out of bounds in that other topic! LOL)

    I'm confused.

    Edit: I figured out that you were talking to Darkside.
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  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    Well we do try to contain each radical in its, his, or her own substrate... so to speak... LOL

    Nice topic, and I have hurt myself thinking about it several times. I do not think I have seen anything that makes me want to change my choice based on what was offered...although based on your rather all to ready refutaion of the thermoelectrical advantages of this or that structure, I am feeling we may have been a bit bushwacked...:)

    Give me my litle bits of lego with wire and electrical measures I can undertand and I am quite content.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
  • ToxicseagullToxicseagull Senior Member Posts: 944Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    That is astounding! But, keep in mind, this is an exception. I was merely commenting in the context of consumer chips available to us at the moment.
    heh not quite, the new intel cpu's are hitting 5ghz on air. i was mainly posting to show its possible with the current materials, i agree with you that we are going to start hitting the limits of silicon in a few years.
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