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IBM pushing vertical stacking in next wave of supercomputers

Darren Murph

Next-generation cooling technology isn't the only thing IBM's R&D crew is spending time with, as the chip giant has recently made plans to hit up "vertical stacking technology" in order to make the next wave of supercomputers really crank. Supposedly, "laying chips vertically -- as opposed to side by side -- reduces the distance data has to travel by 1,000 times, making the chips faster and more efficient." The new format will place chips directly atop one another and connect them with "tungsten filled pipes etched through the silicon," which will subsequently eliminate the need for wires and increase the speed at which data can flow. The questionably-dubbed "3D chips" will reportedly operate around 40-percent more efficiently than existing renditions, and considering that Intel is purportedly cooking up a similar agenda in their own labs, that "end of 2007" release date is quite likely to be accurate.

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