Feeds

Intel mad for power, but stacked-up dies keep MELTING!

Moore's Law good for 10 years easy - top Chipzilla boffin

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

ERIC Moore's Law is going to be good for at least another decade, according to chip-maker Intel.

"There's always physical limits to everything," Steve Pawlowski, senior fellow and head honcho on exascale research, told The Register at the European Research and Innovation Conference in Ireland.

"But you can always come up with clever ways... for example, there’s nothing that says I can’t take two dies and stack them on top of each other so I can grow Moore’s Law in the third dimension," he added.

It's not just a potentially clever way to push Moore's Law, stacking chips is something Pawlowski is looking into right now as a way to get the world to high performance computing (HPC).

Intel has set itself the target of getting computers to be 100 times more powerful than they are today by 2018 - in other words, to achieve the exaflop computing level.

One way Pawlowski thinks Intel can do this is by improving memory data transfer.

"The biggest part of memory is getting information out of memory into the processor, moving data around. So in certain situations we’re looking at can you make memory and processor closer together by stacking them on top of each other," he said.

"The bottom line is you’re reducing the length a signal has to go from A and B and by doing that you can make it faster. By stacking on top of the CPU die you can make wider memory interface and with width and speed, you get higher bandwidth," he added.

However, stacking them up that way has an unfortunate side-effect - the power needed to pull the memory out of the chip and into the processor has had the nasty habit of melting the die in lab experiments.

Whether it eventually works that way or not, stacking is the sort of idea Pawlawski reckons is needed to achieve exascale, not new materials.

"It’s architecturally in how we build the devices that we need innovation," he said.

"Every time I hear this technology is going to run out of gas in ten years and we’re going to need something new, there’s always some new way of engineering or some new creative way to use the material that gives you a longer life."

That's why, even though he thinks new wonder material graphene is interesting, he doesn't think it's the way to go for future chips.

"I’m kind of interested in it for a number of reasons, but is it going to take over everything and be the new technology that’s going to drive us to exascale? I don’t believe it," he said. "It’s my opinion, but I think silicon is still going to be the underlying technology that’s going to take us well into the next decade."

Which is about how long Pawlowski will be drawn into forecasting that Moore's Law will last, although he will say: "I'm of the belief that if you give an engineer a problem, they'll solve it." ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.