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IBM is stacking chips

SeekingAlpha today is covering IBM’s announcement of a new approach to chip production:

IBM says after more than a decade of research, it’s ready to take 3-D chips from the ‘lab to the fab’, extending Moore’s Law to new limits: dramatically reducing chip size while boosting speed. Using 3-D chip stacking technology called “through-silicon vias,” IBM says it’s able to reduce the distance information travels on a chip by 1,000 times. Sample chips will be available from the second-half of this year, with production beginning in ’08.

IBM is targeting its HPC offerings as early adopters of the technology. From their own press release:

The most advanced version of 3-D chip stacking will allow high-performance chips to be stacked on top of each other, for example processor-on-processor or memory-on-processor. IBM is developing this advanced technology by converting the chip that currently powers the fastest computer in the world, the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer, into a 3-D stacked chip. IBM is also using 3-D technology to fundamentally change the way memory communicates with a microprocessor, by significantly enhancing the data flow between microprocessor and memory. This capability will enable a new generation of supercomputers. A prototype SRAM design using 3-D stacking technology is being fabricated in IBM’s 300 mm production line using 65 nm- node technology.

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