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Old 23rd Aug 2008, 03:26   #1
Tim S
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Rattner talks about future transistor technology

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/08...r-technology/1

IDF FALL 2008: We managed to catch up with Justin Rattner to ask him about how transistor technology will evolve in the future.

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Old 23rd Aug 2008, 04:32   #2
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what happened to that light based transistor technology I heard of a year or two back (I think that was it)?
something about replacing the metal between the transistors with (something like) fiber optics (or just empty spaces/vacuums between photosensitive and light emitting cells) so that you don't have to wait for the electrical charge to reach the other end of the wire before sending out the next one, instead sending out sequential light flashes, eliminating the latency of an electrical current.
I think that was what the tech was on about. could be completely wrong or have dreamed it up.

still, I am surprised initially, to see intel thinking right down to the 10nm level, though giving it some thought, it does seem I should have expected as much. I wonder what the next levels down frm that will be? 7nm, 5nm, 3nm then possible journeys into picometer territory (or is that getting into the difference between atoms and sub-atomic particles)?
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Old 23rd Aug 2008, 05:29   #3
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> instead sending out sequential light flashes, eliminating the latency of an electrical current

Electrical currents go at the speed of light.

Depends on the material, of course.
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Old 23rd Aug 2008, 05:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
what happened to that light based transistor technology I heard of a year or two back (I think that was it)?
something about replacing the metal between the transistors with (something like) fiber optics (or just empty spaces/vacuums between photosensitive and light emitting cells) so that you don't have to wait for the electrical charge to reach the other end of the wire before sending out the next one, instead sending out sequential light flashes, eliminating the latency of an electrical current.
I think that was what the tech was on about. could be completely wrong or have dreamed it up.

still, I am surprised initially, to see intel thinking right down to the 10nm level, though giving it some thought, it does seem I should have expected as much. I wonder what the next levels down frm that will be? 7nm, 5nm, 3nm then possible journeys into picometer territory (or is that getting into the difference between atoms and sub-atomic particles)?
Once you make a chip small enough it stops functioing in the ideas of normal physics and ultimately you have to focus on quantum mechanics when your developing parts that small. That's what the guy was getting on about in the article CMOS can only go so small. I belive optical transistor technology is still very much in development, but they obviously wont be serious about anything that's not cost effective, if Intel wanted to they could release them pretty quickly but this isn't going to happen because they've got CMOS manufacturing being done very efficiently.

FYI there is a quantum proccesor if you care to google it, there's probably a video on youtube too, It's the ultimate graphics workhorse but not as generalized as a normal CPU. Basically it can crack any encription, render any scean instantaniously, we're talking pixar graphics for the home. Right now there only owned by a couple colleges and the US goverment, though I haven't read about them in awhile.
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Old 25th Aug 2008, 07:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
> instead sending out sequential light flashes, eliminating the latency of an electrical current

Electrical currents go at the speed of light.

Depends on the material, of course.
Actually in a vacuum the speed of electricity (electrons) is about 1/10 the speed of light.
In a solid medium it is even slower....
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Old 25th Aug 2008, 10:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais View Post
I wonder what the next levels down frm that will be? 7nm, 5nm, 3nm then possible journeys into picometer territory (or is that getting into the difference between atoms and sub-atomic particles)?
Well we are talking size of litography here... the devices are already thinner...the gate thickness for 65nm was about 1.2 nm...thats...3-4 Atoms* of Si...while the gate is SiOČ and i dont know the grid konstant for that.

Intel says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/45_nanometer)...for the 45nm process, they use 1nm oxide with a 7Angstrom transition layer... 7 Angstrom is 0.7nm

*Silicon atoms form in a grid that has a a step width of about 1/2nm (in their non-stressed form anyway).


So: the computers we usre today use sizes < 2 nm...which means were deep into quantum effects like tunneling.


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