500GHz Processor

By Dave

Think being able to overclock your computer to 5GHz would be cool? What about 500GHz?

A recent story on Cnet News reports that researchers at IBM and Georgia Tech have pushed a chip to run at the incredible speed of 500GHz, a new record. There is one slight catch though, as researchers had to bring the temperature down to negative 451 degrees Fahrenheit for it to work.

At room temperature, the IBM-Georgia Tech chip operates at 350GHz, or 350 billion cycles per second. That’s far faster than standard PC processors today, which range from 3.8GHz to 1.8GHz. But SiGe chips can gain additional performance in colder temperatures.

To that end, IBM and Georgia Tech scientists turned down the temperature and cryogenically froze the chip at minus 451 F. It’s about as cold as things get. An extremely cold temperature like that is found naturally only in outer space, but can be artificially achieved on Earth using ultracold materials such as liquid helium. Absolute zero comes at minus 459 F.

Even its default speed of 350GHz would be nice to use…

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