Saturday, October 25, 2014
Search
  
Submit your own News for
inclusion in our Site.
Click here...
Breaking News
Panasonic to Offload Sanyo's North America TV Business
Google's Pichai to Become Head of Product at Google: report
Internet Explorer 11 Toolkit Allows Enterprise Admins "Spy" On Their Employees
FCC Says Airwave Auction To Delay Until 2016
HP Broadens Moonshot Portfolio With Intel-powered Models
Microsoft To Keep Nokia Brand For Low-end Smartphones
LG Introduces Its First Octa-Core Application Processor
Cloud and Surface 3 Drive Microsoft's Revenue
Active Discussions
Copied dvd's say blank in computer only
How to generate lots of different CDs quickly
Yamaha CRW-F1UX
help questions structure DVDR
Made video, won't play back easily
Questions durability monitor LCD
Questions fungus CD/DVD Media, Some expert engineer in optical media can help me?
CD, DVD and Blu-ray burning for Android in development
 Home > News > General Computing > Sun dev...
Last 7 Days News : SU MO TU WE TH FR SA All News

Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Sun developing wireless chips


It will take a lot of work, but Sun Microsystems says it is making headway on a technology that will allow chips to communicate without circuit boards or wires.

The technology, called "proximity communication," aims to let one chip transmit signals directly to another next to it, instead of through the tangle of pins, wires and circuit boards employed today. If successful, the technique could greatly alter many aspects of computer design.

Performance, for instance, could greatly escalate because the speed of transferring data among chips and the number of channels for the transfers would increase. Energy consumption could also decline. Just as important, overall costs could fall, because defective chips could be removed like Scrabble tiles.

"There is a huge need for higher-bandwidth kind of chips," Robert Drost, a senior researcher at Sun Labs, said at an open house last week. "Rather than have the chips soldered onto a printed circuit board, the printed circuit board is taken out of the system."

The technology is an integral part of a supercomputer Sun is creating for a supercomputer bake-off sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The government agency wants to see U.S. manufacturers establish a new generation of supercomputers by 2010. IBM and Cray are also building supercomputers in the project. In about two years, DARPA will select one of the three entrants to develop its machine more fully.

Although the performance of processors has steadily increased in the past 20 years, the performance of the input-output paths that connect these chips to the rest of the computer hasn't, resulting in well-documented bottlenecks.

In part, the problem arises from how the chip connections are built. Processors are inserted into a package that contains metal pins. The pins secure a chip to a board and create the electrical connections.

Unfortunately, the pins are rather large to be electrical and mechanical devices. Only a few hundred fit on a package that contains a processor with several million transistors. Bandwidth, thus, is constrained.

"It is not that on chip wires are evil. It is just that they are large," Drost said. "The number of pins to get to the outside world has gone up only 5 (percent) to 10 percent a year."

By contrast, proximity communication relies on capacitive coupling--the ability of two electrically charged devices close to each other to interact. Transmitters on one chip can send signals to another. These signals are then amplified. A much higher number of transmitter/receiver pairs than pins can be inserted in a specific area, which allows for more simultaneous connections.

"There is a small, but noticeable voltage change in the receiver level," Drost said.

The technique could also allow designers to remove the cache--the large pool of memory currently found on the processor--and put it on a separate chip. Caches were integrated onto processors to amplify bandwidth. Adding cache, however, bumps up manufacturing costs, as it greatly increases the number of transistors. With the bandwidth constraint gone, caches could once again be made independent without it having an impact on performance.

One of the chief difficulties in developing the technology comes from the environment where computer chips live. Heat and vibration in this environment can cause chips to get out of the precise alignment needed for proximity communication. Sun is currently tinkering with different techniques and different packages to prevent, or correct, these effects.

"There are some very interesting technical problems that must be solved, such as, how do you maintain alignment?" said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight 64. "But if it does pay off, it could be quite revolutionary."

From NEWS.com



Previous
Next
DVD X Copy creators, 321 Studios, Forced to Shut Down        All News        Microsoft To Break Out Cheaper Windows In More Markets
VERITAS Replicates Data Anywhere at Anytime     General Computing News      Microsoft To Break Out Cheaper Windows In More Markets

Source Link Get RSS feed Easy Print E-Mail this Message

Related News
IBM to buy Sun Microsystems?
Sun Microsystems, TSMC in Chip Making Deal
Sun Microsystems to Acquire MySQL For $1 Billion
Sun Launches New Video Delivery OverIP Platform
Sun Microsystems Unveils Portable Data Center
Sun Microsystems' CEO Quits
Sun Announces New Generation of Processors
Sun Micro Announces Open-source DRM Project
Sun to Publish Software Source Code
Sun and EMC Collaborate on Hardware, Software and Support
Sun Publishes Solaris Source Code
New Java spec published

Most Popular News
 
Home | News | All News | Reviews | Articles | Guides | Download | Expert Area | Forum | Site Info
Site best viewed at 1024x768+ - CDRINFO.COM 1998-2014 - All rights reserved -
Privacy policy - Contact Us .