IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - November 2010 - (Page 48)

Next What’s new in R&D Computing in 3-D Chips could gain depth to keep delivering on Moore’s Law By Jim Utsler effect for more than 50 years. But some are predicting that that law may be hitting a wall, perhaps as early as 2020. Two reasons stand out: increased communication times between transistors and the growing amount of energy required to run the current chip architecture. In response, a collaboration called CMOSAIC devotes itself to building 3-D stacks of interconnected cores that will reduce information latency and energy consumption. In the end, the institutions involved—including IBM Research, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH)—hope to keep Moore’s Law essentially intact. To lea r n more, I BM Systems Magazine recently spoke with Bruno Michel, manager of advanced thermal packaging, IBM Research–Zurich, and John Thome, professor of heat and mass transfer at EPFL and the CMOSAIC project coordinator. According to them, this new 3-D chip architecture will advance computing for decades to come. IBM SYSTEMS MAGAZINE: Would you define Moore’s Law for us? MICHEL: The initial obser vation by Gordon Moore was that the number of transistors on a silicon chip doubles every year in a very initial state of silicon integration. That was his first paper and then five or six years later he corrected that to a long-term trend of doubling not every year but every 18 months. So that was the observation by Gordon Moore and everybody now tries to adhere to it. But to call it a law is kind of a misnomer; it’s not a law but kind of an observation or target. ISM: What are the consequences of Moore’s Law continuing at its current pace with a 2-D architecture? THOME: Since the first electronic computer was built 65 years ago, we’ve improved efficiency by 10 orders of magnitude. We theoretically may have another 10 orders of magnitude until we’re hitting the absolute physical limit of the amount of energy needed to carry information. M oore’s Law, which basically states that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit will double every 18 months, has been in 48 NOVEMBER 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - November 2010

IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - November 2010
On the Web
Editor's Desk: Core Relationships
Dashboard: Walking While You Work - Photo-Cropping - Multitasking Distraction
Think Smarter: Smart Storage Solutions Let You Have it All
Data Display: All About Spam
Insider: Proactive Systems Management Can Lead to Success
Trends: Can You Move From IBM i 5.4 to 7.1? And Should You?
Case Study: How the HammockSource Saved a Ton of Paper and Improved Business Processes
HA Solutions With Depth: PowerHA SystemMirror is Integrated Down to the Kernel
The Benefit of the Bling: Are Solid-State Drives a Luxury or Necessity?
Focus on Storage: IBM Showize V7000 Offers Enterprise-Class Functionality in a Small, Affordable Package
Next: 3-D Chips Could Gain Depth to Keep Delivering on Moore's Law
Advertiser's Index
IBM Perspective: 2010 and Beyond
Snapshot: Love of Tech is in His DNA

IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - November 2010