Intel has made an interesting advance in microprocessor technology after years of research, and it seems that 2011′s processors will be the first to feature 3D transistors and tri-gate technology. By optimizing the shape of the transistor at a nanometer level, Intel has made it possible to both reduce the size of individual transistors and improve their efficiency.
Now, it’s important to… → Read More
As you probably know, computer processors are made up of a bunch of teeny tiny transistors on top of brittle silicon. While this works well for devices that can deal with solid frames, new technologies that need to be more flexible will require a new type of processor. One that can bend. → Read More
This week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, European researchers showed off the world’s first flexible microprocessor made with organic semiconductors. Right now, processing power is similar to what was found in the 1970′s, but the advantage is that the processor is flexible. What’s so good about the research is that it can lead to fully bendable displays and sensors… → Read More
The “tock” portion of Intel’s latest tick-tock cycle has officially hit, and the shrink of last year’s Core processors brings a number of improvements to the line. Intel’s finally taking some steps towards reducing systems’ reliance on discrete GPUs, and they’ve also seriously improved hardware transcoding. Essentially, though, this isn’t a feature or performance release, it’s bringing the top-end… → Read More
For years, makers of computer processors have worked to shrink the size of their components. The smaller your circuits and gates, after all, the more you can fit on a wafer, and the more work a processor can do per unit of area. Intel has traditionally done a die shrink every other year, and reorganized their chips on the “off” years. Interestingly, I wrote two years ago about how engineers… → Read More
The pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores will come for mobile devices in 2011 with 1080p playback and recording, dual triple screen support and five times the 3D graphics performance than the current processors, you know the ones that are now used in the Galaxy S and Tab. I understand that it is important to use a dual screen phone for 1080p playback while you are driving an additional external… → Read More
This is pretty funny. You’ve probably seen some of the propaganda over the last year or so about how GPUs are orders of magnitude faster than CPUs at certain tasks, due to their parallel processing engine. Intel got tired of hearing about it, I guess, and decided to debunk the myth. They set out to disprove the notion that a GPU can be 100 times faster than a CPU. They kind of did it, but I think… → Read More
The A4 variant (an unfortunate name considering the A* naming convention in ARM chips) is just an A8-based chip with a setup specific to the iPhone or iPad’s PCB layout and processing needs. Apple… → Read More
Remember back in the day when you could go into a store and compare two clock speeds and come out with the right machine for you? Everything else was immaterial. Hard drives could be upgraded, memory could be added, but clock speed was the number you lived or died by. 1.8GHz was better than 1.5GHz every day of the week, right? Those days are over. Moore’s Law, the idea that “the number… → Read More
AMD reps have been seen zooming around the Apple campus, taking meetings and presumably hawking their wares. With the recent MacBook Pro update proudly proclaiming the power of the Core i5 and i7 processors inside, and the work with Intel and NVIDIA to produce seamless hybrid graphics acceleration, it seems a rather odd time to be window-shopping with other vendors. But Apple has always been coy… → Read More
Oops! Looks like someone accident let some information out early. AMDs “Thuban” processors will be out next month, and there wasn’t a whole lot of information out there until recently. Turns out that somebody talked. Well, at least someone’s BIOS talked. → Read More
Bet you weren’t expecting that headline tonight, were you? Well, it’s about as literal as I could get. Some enterprising boffins at the University of Rochester used a high-powered laser to etch microscopic patterns in silicon such that water overcomes its own hydrophilia and goes in whatever direction they please. This is very much still a laboratory discovery, but a few years down the road, you… → Read More
File this one under “future toys.” We hear about a lot of these super-low-level advances in processing and storage (whenever I see the word “holographic,” I reach for the salt), and while they’re usually at best years away from practice and manufacture, they’re good to keep informed on, if nothing else than as cocktail chatter. “Did you hear about those new nanotube speakers?” → Read More
There’s a story going around right now that the development costs for Apple’s A4 chip, which powers the iPad, might be as high as a billion dollars. Let’s not get carried away here. Apple licensed the CPU and GPU from ARM, and the A4 shares a lot of elements with the Tegra 2.
The billion dollar investment here is for designing a chip “from scratch.” Is that really what happened here? → Read More
One of the small surprises of the iPad announcement was that it was running on Apple’s own custom silicon. Well, that’s true to an extent, but it’s not like Apple actually invented the processor in-house. It’s just not OEM hardware. In fact, other guys are running with many of the same parts.
The A4 is a custom implementation of the ARM A9 processor, also found in Snapdragon (running the Nexus… → Read More
VIA has introduced its updated line of Nano processors, built for netbooks and all-in-one computers. The 3000 series promises a 20% performance boost over existing Nano CPUs while managing to reduce overall power consumption by 20% as well. → Read More
While I was sliding down bannisters and having -160° alcohol poured on my hands, the AMD camera crew and the overclockers we were all there to see were putting together an honest-to-god documentation of the event.
Last week AMD invited CrunchGear down to Austin to check out an overclocking event they were holding, at which many, many liters of liquid nitrogen and the much colder liquid helium would be consumed by thirsty processors.
They asked us, however, not to video the entire event, since they’d have their official video coming out shortly and some of the technology being used was still in development. → Read More
<img src="http://old.crunchgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/header.jpg" class="center" I'm eating lunch in the conference here in AMD's Lone Star campus while they're getting their custom cooling setup down to -250°F. Yes, -250°F, 120 degrees above absolute zero. Then they’re going to go for a couple world records while pouring liquid Helium… → Read More
Intel just held a teleconference outlining some information on its next Atom platform, code-named “Pine Trail” and introduced a new beta version of its “Moblin” user interface for upcoming Atom-based netbooks, nettops, MIDs, embedded systems, and in-vehicle entertainment systems. Here are some notes from the call… → Read More
The Phenom II X4 has been shown to be an excellent overclocker, and recently the world record was set by a group called Limit Team, who took the 3.2GHz stock processor and took it up to an insane 7127Hz. That’s an increase of just over 221%. Of course, while with good ventilation you could probably overclock yours a good 10-15% with no ill effects, this particular hack required “exotic cooling… → Read More
What’s the matter with AMD? The number two chip maker in the whole world just posted some numbers that don’t reflect too kindly on its performance over the last few months. The big, bad Sunnyvale, Calif.-based corp lost $416 million last quarter; about $195 million of that was related to a corporate spinoff (see: GlobalFoundries). When put into scary percentages, AMD’s sales fell off 21 percent. → Read More
It is always wise to take these kinds of promises with a grain of salt, but if a company says their chip will allow a phone or similar device to run Xbox-level games, they’ve got to be at least partially serious. That’s just what’s promised in the upcoming batch of ARM processors, although I’m going to want a bigger screen if I’m going to take up Halo Mobile. → Read More
It’s an improvement worthy of the greatest trick of all time, the 9800 Pro pencil mod — and probably just as boneheaded of an idea to try. This little hack enables the latent fourth core on certain Phenom processors, assuming you’ve got a certain type of Biostar mobo. Of course, there’s probably a little more to it than that, so I’d hold off on this unless you’re feeling really adventurous. → Read More
That firecracker CEO of Nvidia, Jen-Hsun Huang, has revealed that Nvidia will be putting out an “Ion 2″ platform using VIA Nano processors instead of Intel’s Atoms. The pairing isn’t surprising, considering that the Nano processors are supposed to be quite as capable as Atoms, and Nvidia’s relationship with Intel right now isn’t exactly all fun and games. → Read More