Chip Performance Limited By Energy & Heat

Insight from Sun Microsystems on why energy and heat are becoming a drag on computing performance . . .

"Up until now, we have approached the problem by pushing the physical technology of the CPU frequency — namely, the number of cycles that a piece of silicon can do. But you quickly run into the law of physics that says that when you force the transistors to switch as quickly as possible, there is a corresponding amount of power consumption and the heat generated by the transistors grows
proportionally

"Considering that networking has a quadratic effect, the interaction grows geometrically rather than linearly. The industry has reached a point where it has driven power consumption of these increments to a point that it deviates from what the customer can utilize.

"So green computing is a mindset that asks how we can satisfy the growing demand for network computing without putting such pressure on the environment."

Read the complete interview with David Yen, executive vice president of Sun's Scalable Systems Group.

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