Intel has completed development of its next-generation production process that shrinks chip circuitry to 32 nanometres. The chipmaker said yesterday that it was “on track for production readiness of this future generation [of transistors] in the fourth quarter of 2009.” Chipzilla’s current processors are made on circuitry with …
didnt a wise man once say:
but what does it all mean...!
...what does it all mean
It means that as the transistors get ever smaller, their reliability becomes more of a gamble. Voltage spikes, cosmic rays, quantum effects & International Terrorists mean that the MTBF falls sharply compared to 'old' 100nm fabrication, and perhaps more worryingly 'failure' may no longer mean 'works/is dead', but might mean 'once per 100-million clock cycles, you'll get a dodgy data value'. Not sure I'd want to be on an aircraft where a 32nm CPU was making important decisions.
 I might have made that bit up.
where did it go
my my they are getting small and with all those cores. great for boffin types but when will I the man on the street get software that takes advantage of it all. more importantly my PC games. L4D has support but it is buggy at best
doesn't it also mean
lower voltages, lower heat production, smaller die size, etc.
there's gotta be some good advantages to it otherwise why would anyone spend millions on doing it "for the sake of it". no one would spend good money to have the only benefit be thier product becomes less reliable.
Re: Doesn't it also mean
Main good advantage is that you have a funky new product, which you can sell to people, who like fast, powerful processors just as they like fast cars, even though they never use them to full extent. And taking physics into account means that for so small transistors you are loosing a significant fraction of power for heat - insulator layer is much thinner, so more electrons will pass through it (or even get tunneled at this scale) and their energy lost as heat.
Most people don't need much more computing power than a netbook or older PC has, but they want to have something better that their neighbour has :-). And it gives many of us a job :-).
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