IBM And 3M Creating 1,000-Times Faster Processors

How do you boost the performance of a chip by a factor of 1,000?

The answer is a lot simpler than you might imagine. The answer, in fact, is glue.

Yes, apparently IBM and 3M have come up with a solution to creating

a superfast chip by placing 100s of chips, one on top of another, and all held

together by glue.

Of course this is no ordinary adhesive, but one which can efficiently

conduct heat through a densely-packed stack of chips and away from

heat-sensitive components such as logic circuits.

“3M and IBM today announced that the two companies plan to

jointly develop the first adhesives that can be used to package semiconductors

into densely stacked silicon towers,” a statement from the companies said.

                                    IBM 3M 3D chips

“Today’s chips, including those containing ‘3D’ transistors,

are in fact 2D chips that are still very flat structures,” said Bernard

Meyerson, VP of Research, IBM. “Our scientists are aiming to develop materials

that will allow us to package tremendous amounts of computing power into a new

form factor – a silicon ‘skyscraper.’”

The 3D transistors Meyerson speaks of are the 3D tri-gate

transistors being developed by Intel which it hopes will boost its presence in the mobile market, and

which are due to be seen first in next year’s Ivy Bridge processors.

IBM and 3M are hoping that its stacking process will allow

for dramatically higher levels of integration for information technology and

consumer electronics applications.

Processors could be tightly packed with memory and

networking, for example, into a “brick” of silicon that would create a computer

chip 1,000 times faster than today’s fastest microprocessor enabling more

powerful smartphones, tablets, computers and gaming devices. 

This new technology should be going into production by the

end of 2013 according to IBM and will make an appearance in servers first

before trickling down to consumer devices – and we can’t wait.

Source: IBM