The PCMOS system, designed by Rice University researchers, promises a speed increase of 700% at a thirtieth of the power demands. How, you ask? Well, transistors today are very tiny and use a lot of power to make sure that the intentional signal overpowers the random noise at that near-molecular scale. This is getting harder and harder, as transistor counts multiply and voltage per transistor… → Read More
AMD enthusiasts should mark February 9th as a red-letter day. Five new processors have been unleashed by the ailing but effective CPU company, and they look like a serious value. If you’re looking to upgrade your box right now, these new processors are pretty much the only reasonable option.
Plus, you can upgrade now with your DDR2 setup, and then move to a new DDR3 setup in six months and keep… → Read More
While Intel is working on taking on the GPU sector (and may just have a deal with Sony to do it), its main rival, Nvidia, is looking to get into the x86 processor business. The video hardware giant is assembling a team from scratch to make a competitor to the Intel and AMD’s CPUs — but doesn’t seem to care that the technology is proprietary and must be licensed from the very companies… → Read More
The economic crisis and resultant drop in spending has slowed down a lot of tech industries. Even the big players like Intel, NEC, and IBM are taking major hits, part of which is due to, well, people not buying their products. Intel in particular has delayed some rollouts due to a warehouses of Core2 processors and motherboards they expected to have sold by now.
Although we were a little underwhelmed at what Fusion actually turned out to be (it got a lot of hype), the good news is that it’s helpful anyway, and it’s not bound to hardware. AMD doesn’t want you to do this of course, and the usual caveats of “at your own risk, etc” apply, but there is a way to make Fusion work on your Intel or (I should think) even VIA processor. → Read More
It looks like the planned “Lynnfield” mainstream versions of the Nehalem architecture chips won’t be arriving until August or possibly September. That’s bad! But Core2 Duo and Quad chips are expected to receive a price cut very soon. That’s good! If you’re in the market for a processor, wait a couple weeks and save yourself a few bucks.
But what could be the reason for this delay? → Read More
While it has been a sort of unspoken truth that AMD has ceded the performance cup to Intel over the last couple years, they’ve instead provided an extremely compelling value option, with their processors doing nearly the work of the more expensive Intels for far less money. The new Phenom II processor was to be the keystone in AMD’s new Dragon platform, and while the other features of the platform… → Read More
A lot of attention has been on Intel’s Nehalem/Core i7 lineup, but AMD hasn’t been slacking. They’ve been working on rolling out their next platform, which is really much more of a complete package than I’ve seen in a while. The new 45nm Phenom II X4 processor is designed to work with the Radeon 4000 series of video cards and the newest 790 series of motherboards.
They’ve got a real triple threat… → Read More
The hard science behind your processor may not be interesting to you now, but if Intel were to say “Sorry, it’s physically impossible to go any faster,” you’d get real interested real fast. Or not. At any rate, it shouldn’t be a problem yet, as even the major quantum-physical barrier posed by the move (still far distant) from 22nm to 16nm appears to be surmountable… → Read More
By this time next year, the line between netbooks, UMPCs, handhelds, palmtops, netblets, MIDs, and whichever other portable internet doodads you can think of might get all the more blurry with Intel’s 32-nanometer “Medfield” Atom chip. The current “Diamondville” chip is 45 nanometers, which is already pretty small. The Medfield chip is thought to be aimed more at the handheld market than… → Read More
Australia, land of kangaroos and terrible actors, must be beaming today, what with the news that someone there was able to overclock an Intel Atom processor to 2.38GHz. That’s the fastest we’ve ever seen an Atom run, as a matter of fact. Of course, getting the processor, found in an MSI Wind, to run that was quite the challenge, as it should be. Not since Frankenstein pieced together… → Read More
Those big packages from Intel must have arrived at all the custom prebuilt computer sites, because all of a sudden they’re all making a racket about how their latest setups rock the new Core i7s like a hurricane: Dell has them in their XPS 730x starting today at $2K Alienware has them in the X-58 series starting at $1650 (or $3700, your choice) Gateway has them in the 6800 series starting at… → Read More
AMD, Intel’s arch nemesis, is rolling out its first 45nm quad-core Opteron processors today. The move to 45nm brings lower power consumption (a decrease by about 35 percent) and increased (by 35 percent, too) “performance,” a term so nebulous it can mean anything. The processor uses the code name Shanghai. The previous 65nm Opterons went by Barcelona, who are absolutely tearing up La… → Read More
The next big thing in processors is hitting today — Intel’s Core i7, otherwise known as Nehalem, is finally hitting the ground. If you don’t know that it is, check out our past coverage. This first batch probably doesn’t have the processor you want to get (the more consumer-oriented ones be coming out a little later, good price comparison at the bottom of this page), but… → Read More
The fine people over at APC Mag got their hands on Intel’s Core i7 Nehalem processor (codenamed Bloomfield) and have bestowed upon us the following information: Intel has moved the memory controller onto the chip itself, which has made the chip larger, which means we’ll be getting a new socket size (socket LGA1366). So you’ll need a new motherboard, basically. The front side bus (FSB) has… → Read More
The always excellent IEEE Spectrum has a great article right now that is both a primer for current chip manufacturing techniques and a look at what the challenges are that chipmakers are facing. As we’ve talked about before, Moore’s law has continued to apply only through the utmost efforts and desperate “cheats” by the engineers who design the chips and the process to… → Read More
You guys like computers, do ya? Me too. I spent a fair amount of time with the good people at VIA today and got some info about various upcoming products – some that have just been announced and some that haven’t yet. For starters, here’s the VIA VB8001 CPU and motherboard combo that was recently announced. It uses VIA’s new “64-bit, superscalar, 1.6GHz VIA Nano processor” –… → Read More
This is pretty cool. I’m all for tweaking your setup a little bit, but the guys at this Gigabyte-sponsored Championship in Taipei take it more seriously than I ever could. Maybe that’s because there was a $5000 prize at stake. Hmm… The pictures are great if you’re a system builder: all cables and pipes and thermoses (thermi?) filled with liquid nitrogen. They had 11 full… → Read More
If that headline doesn’t get excited, may as well move on to the next story. Nothing to see here, folks! Except for a bad-ass processor that’s about to drop on November 17. If you’ve been following the Nehalem story, you know that it’s Intel’s microarchitecture “tock” to the 45nm process Penryn “tick.” You may have heard it referred to as… → Read More
Oh my. Facing mounting debt and increasing costs, AMD is splitting into two parts: one to design chips and one to make them. The move is made possible by a $6bn infusion by two Abu Dhabi investment firms, an amount which will go a long way toward relieving debt and covering the cost of establishing the manufacturing arm (“Foundry” for now) as a workable partner. They’ll be… → Read More
These little netbooks that we hear about day in and day out are about to get a little zippier, thanks to Intel’s dual-core Atom chip – the 330 – shipping out to vendors. The September launch seems to coincide with what we’d heard earlier, so that’s good. The 45-nanometer Atom 330 chip will feature the same 1.6GHz bus speed as the single core model, will have 1MB of level 2 cache, and… → Read More
Yeah, I know, it sounds a bit dry; how could a chart of microprocessor stats be awesome? Well, just look at it! It’s glorious! And huge! It’s so very complete and monolithic that I just have to stand in awe of it. There’s just so much… information! It’s organized by date, by core, by what have you, and having it visualized is a revelation. I like the color scheme… → Read More
Well! IBM and AMD are certainly proud of themselves today! They’ve been working on a 22nm SRAM cell, two generations ahead of the current 45nm process. The devices developed and manufactured by AMD, Freescale, IBM STMicroelectronics, Toshiba and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) were built in a traditional six-transistor design on a 300 mm wafer and had a memory cell… → Read More
Intel’s “tick-tock” process of alternating between shrinking the die and updating the microarchitecture has done them well so far, and apparently they see no obstacles to continuing it through 2012. Unfortunately, that’s when things go a bit pear-shaped and you start having to deal with quantum properties (10nm is edge-of-comprehension small) and doing drastic things like… → Read More
The next round of Intel processors have officially been named Intel Core. The very next round of processors, previously codenamed Nehalem, will go by the name Intel Core i7. As always, model numbers will be used to differentiate the different chips. Yes, there will still be an Extreme Edition, which is the one on the right up there. Useful, perhaps, for those of you trying to play Crysis at decent… → Read More
What a ridiculous project! But how awesome would it be to be the hardcore system building nerds they asked to do this? A couple months ago, a French Tom’s Hardware-related superteam got together to overclock an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz as far as it would go. They just put up the pictures and everything yesterday. They used liquid nitrogen cooling and a pretty serious-looking compressor… → Read More
We’re all hearing a lot about Intel’s Atom range of processors these days, likely because of the tiny laptop revolution (or whatever you want to call it). While VIA’s Nano is not competing directly with Atom as, say, GeForce does with Radeon, they are in the same ballpark and when it comes to low-power, general-purpose setups for things like tiny laptops or tablets, people are… → Read More
If you’re reading this website (you flatter us) you’re probably one of the more tech-savvy people in the family. So doubtless you get tapped occasionally to fix Aunt Estella’s printer or de-spyware your parents’ machine. And every once in a while, someone will want to buy a new computer. While there’s no better time than the present, they will certainly be mystified… → Read More
Not content to let Intel steal all the glory with its new low-power Atom chip, AMD appears to be developing a similar chip of its own. It’s currently only known as “BGA” but will hopefully get a much cooler-sounding name when it’s ready to go. AMD’s current low-power Geode processor has served as the company’s netbook CPU of choice, but it tops out at 500MHz and has been around for… → Read More
Chips these days are pretty much flat. And I’m not talking about tortilla chips. They call those silicon things wafers for a reason: all those little gates and channels are lying flat in a single layer. Chipmakers know that you can stack chips on top of each other and multiply your computing power due to the decreased distance the signal has to travel (I’m kind of at the edge of my… → Read More