Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

How Intel will keep Moore’s Law cranking for years to come – CNET

Published

on

Intel's 10nm Ice Lake processors
Intel Ice Lake processors tile a silicon wafer.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Moore’s Law, the observation that the number of transistors on a computer chip doubles every 24 months, has taken a beating as progress miniaturizing circuitry falters. But chip giant Intel has plotted a course to keep the idea alive with a plan to pack 50 times as many transistors onto processors than is possible today.

The progress of Moore’s Law, named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, has spread chips from expensive mainframes in the 1960s to personal computers in the 1980s and now to smartphones, watches, cars, TVs, washing machines and just about anything with electrical power.

Moore’s Law has worked by shrinking transistors, the data-processing elements on a chip. Intel plans to keep shrinking them, but also to increase density by stacking chips into multilayer packages.

“We firmly believe there is a lot more transistor density to come,” said Intel Chief Architect Raja Koduri, in a speech Monday for the Hot Chips conference for cutting-edge processor revelations. “The vision will play out over time — maybe a decade or more — but it will play out.”

Koduri’s optimism mirrored the excitement of many other companies at Hot Chips, an engineering conference where researchers detail progress. AMD, Nvidia, Google, Microsoft, IBM and a gaggle of startups showed ways they’re advancing both general-purpose chips and those dedicated to tasks such as artificial intelligence, graphics and networking.

How Intel expects to deliver chip progress

Koduri described several steps to cram more transistors into a chip than possible with 10nm chips like its Tiger Lake processor arriving in laptops this fall. First will come the most traditional approach, shrinking transistors and squeezing them closer together. That’ll triple the transistor density, Koduri predicted.

Next up are new transistor designs that continue the current transformation of transistors from flat circuitry elements into 3D structures. These steps, called nanowires and stacked nanowires, should quadruple density.

Then come packaging innovations, with chips stacked into a layer cake of processor elements. That should quadruple density again. The total math brings density up by about a factor of 50.

Years of Intel difficulties

Intel’s optimism contrasts with difficult times keeping Moore’s Law ticking.

Intel, once the unquestioned leader in chip manufacturing, has struggled in recent years. Its move from a manufacturing process with transistor features measuring 14 nanometers to later 10nm took five years instead of two. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, and with circuitry elements 14nm wide, Intel can pack about 7,000 across the width of a human hair.

Next, Intel delayed its move from 10nm to 7nm manufacturing by six months, and Apple is dumping Intel chips from its Macs. To help adjust, Intel has adopted a more flexible design process that lets it rely more on other chipmakers like its top rival, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.

Moore’s Law, but at what cost?

TSMC, which moved to 7nm manufacturing about two years ago and makes Apple’s iPhone chips, last year declared “Moore’s Law is well and alive.” But unlike in the past, Moore’s Law steps now impose new costs for companies that want to employ the most advanced manufacturing processes.

Intel's Tiger Lake chip
Intel’s Tiger Lake chip will dramatically improve laptop performance in 2020.
Intel

Microsoft’s Xbox One in 2013, Xbox One X in 2017, and Xbox Series X coming this year all have chips about the same size, which in the past would have meant that the chips cost about the same price. Now, though, “it’s significantly more expensive for the newest one,” said Microsoft chip designer Jeff Andrews.

Another challenge besides cost is that new chips often only accelerate specific computing operations. That’s useful for tasks like artificial intelligence and graphics, but it makes life harder for software programmers who have to reckon with processors that work in different ways.

Intel is trying to bridge this chip divide with a new software layer it calls oneAPI. It’s a notable move: Intel is a hardware specialist, but it’s embracing software as an essential step in making its chips useful.

“Increasingly, hardware architecture teams need to be comprised of software experts,” Koduri said.

New chip ideas

At Hot Chips, processor makers also detailed a host of innovations. Among the biggest:

  • Intel’s Tiger Lake processor uses a new incarnation of power-saving technology called DVFS, or dynamic voltage and frequency scaling. Different parts of the chip can run faster for high-priority tasks or slower to save power. Intel now juggles the priorities between its multiple processor cores, the memory system and the communication fabric that connects it all together.
  • AMD’s competing Ryzen 4000 series chips, code-named Renoir and arriving now in PCs, are the first chips with eight processing cores for super-thin laptops. AMD had initially planned a six-core design but realized a careful design could accommodate eight for better performance on tasks like video and photo editing, said architect Sonu Arora. They use half the power for a given performance level as their predecessors.
  • IBM’s Power10 processors, which have 18 billion transistors and are due in massive Unix servers arriving next year, can be ganged together into a single powerful server with as many as 240 processing cores. In addition, a “pod” of interlinked servers can share as much as 2 petabytes of memory. That’s useful for massive business computing challenges like data mining and managing inventory databases.
  • Startup Lightmatter unveiled its Mars chip for accelerating AI work like image recognition. It marries about a billion conventional transistors with tens of thousands of components that use light instead of electricity to transfer data and perform calculations. The idea behind this photonic technology is to cut power usage.

Source : CNET Read More

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

Published

on

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

Advertisement

Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

Advertisement

That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

Advertisement

Grab this offer while it’s still around!


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

Advertisement

You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Trending