Monday, March 24, 2008

Sparcs with laser beams attached to their heads

Sun is going for a very nifty computer project. They can now align chips very precisely along their edge, so now they think they can put in a laser wave guide. This would allow megachips to be assembled without the problem with wafer-scale integration (one tiny defect ruins the whole thing!).

ps. the paraphrased quote from Dr. Evil was lifted from somebody else.


Harbles said...

Sceptic that I am ( an ignorant one at that ) I can't see that huge a difference in data rate over a few centemeters at most between fiber optic connection using photons and a conductive transmission line using electrons.
I thought circuit size limited by photo lithographic techniques and thermal dissipation were far larger factors in defining the limits of micro processor development.

Harold Asmis said...

Another limit is the wire speed. They want to make wires as short as possible, and that's why the big 4 core chip is faster than using 2 chips a la Intel.

What they want to do is put 64 cores and the whole computer on a single wafer, but this is nearly impossible, because there will always be a bad chip. Sun wants to make separate chips but reassemble them in an equivalent to one wafer, using a direct edge connect.