IBM's 210GHz transistors pump up chips

IBM will announce Monday that the fastest silicon transistors ever made are ready to appear on chips designed to speed up computer networks.

The company's Semiconductor Division has combined many of its so-called 210GHz transistors into functioning circuits, running at 110GHz or faster--an important milestone toward commercial use.

Transistors--on-off switches used to transmit signals--are the basic building blocks of computer chips.

The new transistors can operate on just 1 milliamp of electrical current, or about half the amount of energy demanded by the current technology, and run about 80 percent faster. The success with the 110GHz circuits demonstrates that the transistors are capable of being used on chips.

Intel says chips containing the transistors should arrive in high-end networking equipment shipping within the next year. By more quickly translating the electronic signals used to transfer data over networks, the chips will help speed up the computer networks that carry people's e-mail and deliver their favourite Web pages, IBM researchers said.

News source: ZDNet News

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