Categories: AMD, Athlon, atom, core, Leo, Phenom, processor, transistor.
First we had the dual core Athlons, now we have the quad core Phenoms, coming soon is the six core Leos. There is logic to new chips having more processors. Having a processor run at a faster clock rate is generally limited by the amount of heat the chip produces. The faster the rate, the more calculations per second, and hence the more electrons flowing through the chip. More electrons more heat. The only want to deal with this temperature buildup is to use a smaller etch process. Right now they are at 45 nano meter, but there is a limit to how small they can go and that is defined by Moore’s Law. So before making their processors smaller in size, manufacturers are putting more cores and are dividing the processing accordingly.
AMD Phenom II X6 will be compatible with socket AM3/AM2+ (with split power plane) infrastructure and will have integrated dual-channel PC3-10600 (DDR3 1333MHz) memory controller. It is very likely that Thuban processors will retain the design of the code-named Istanbul chips for servers, thus, will feature 3MB L2 cache (512KB per core) and 6MB of L3 cache. The chips will be made using 45nm SOI fabrication process. Power consumption of the chips is set to be decided. [Source]
Next year we will see 6 core mainstream processors. Then we will see more cores. They will continue to add more cores, and eventually they will being to make them smaller also. Manufacturers will do this until 2020, when Moore’s Law kicks in and starts putting of roadblocks to new chips using traditional silicon etching technologies.
In terms of size [of transistors] you can see that we’re approaching the size of atoms which is a fundamental barrier, but it’ll be two or three generations before we get that far—but that’s as far out as we’ve ever been able to see. We have another 10 to 20 years before we reach a fundamental limit. By then they’ll be able to make bigger chips and have transistor budgets in the billions.[Source]
Even after 2020 we will see new silicon chips. As time passes there will be more pressure to introduce a new processing technology. Eventually Optical, DNA, atomic, or quantum computing will become a reality. Its not a matter of if, but when. I think atomic computing will be the next player. An atomic computer will utilize transistors that operate on an atomic scale. [More Info]