IBM and Georgia Tech have pushed silicon to its limits when they overclocked a processor to 500Ghz ( 0.5 Thz ) at 4.5 Kelvin (approx equal to absolute zero). They have managed to attain 350Ghz at room temperature (that’s a amazing feat) which is way better than our current processor speeds.
What is the technology behind this????
SiGe is a process technology in which the electrical properties of silicon, the material underlying virtually all modern microchips, is augmented with germanium to make chips operate more efficiently. SiGe boosts performance and reduces power consumption in chips that go into cellular phones and other advanced communication devices. IBM first announced its SiGe technology in 1989, and later introduced SiGe into the industry’s first standard, high-volume SiGe chips in October 1998. Since that time, it has shipped hundreds of millions of SiGe chips.
Ultra-high-frequency silicon-germanium circuits have potential applications in commercial communications systems, defense electronics, space exploration, and remote sensing. Achieving such extreme speeds in silicon-based technology which can be manufactured using conventional low-cost techniques could provide a pathway to high-volume applications. Until now, only integrated circuits fabricated from more costly III-V compound semiconductor materials have achieved such extreme levels of transistor performance.
Source: IBM Press Release
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