IBM Power6, new Cell processors previewed

Posted on Friday, Dec 29 2006 @ 19:07 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
CNET presents us more information about IBM's upcoming Power6 processors which will feature clockspeeds of 5GHz and higher and the Cell Broadband Engine processor from IBM, Sony and Toshiba which will run at 6GHz.
Chipmakers have run into problems increasing chip clock speed--essentially an electronic heartbeat that synchronizes operations in a processor--because higher frequencies have led to unmanageable power consumption and waste heat.

To compensate, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices have turned instead to the addition of multiple processing cores on each slice of silicon. That's effective when computers are juggling numerous tasks at the same time, but increasing the clock speed means an individual task can run faster.

The first-generation Cell Broadband Engine chip, co-developed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, has just appeared in Sony's PlayStation 3 game console and can run at 4GHz. The second-generation chip will run at 6GHz, according to the ISSCC program. In addition, the new chip will have a dual power supply that increases memory performance--a major bottleneck in computer designs today.


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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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