HP’s new microchip architecture
Moore’s Law, which was firstly based on the assumption of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, states that every 18 months the number of transistors packed into microprocessors will double (notice that the number of transistors inside microprocessors is roughly equivalent to the processing power). The law emerged around 1970 and it is holding true up to the date.
Traditionally the increase in the number of transistors per microchip was achieved by shrinking the size of the transistors themselves, but HP recently announced a new microchip architecture that should be able to pack eight times more transistors inside microprocessors, without needing to shrink them.
Stanley Willians, director of quantum science at HP, commented: “For a long time, we in the industry have been obsessed with this idea that higher capacity [chips] and lower cost equals smaller transistors, and we’ve been investing the bulk of our efforts in this area (…) the new research is the first proof that it’s possible to dramatically improve integrated circuits without shrinking transistors.”
The main idea behind the new architecture is to remove the silicon wiring between the transistors and place it above them. Such layout should increase the space for transistors without needing to scale them down. The HP research will be published on the next edition of the Nanotechnology magazine.
The computer manufacturing company is already working on prototypes of the new microprocessor, but a functional version is expected only in 2010.