Re: further newsbit on those new IBM transistors

From: Dani Eder (
Date: Tue Jun 26 2001 - 11:27:18 MDT

> chips with 100ghz speeds sometime in 2003. These
> chips are currently used

You need to keep clear the distinction between the
transistor switching speed, which may be 100 GHz,
and the chip clock speed, which is the transistor
speed divided by the number of transistors in series
involved in one clock cycle. The very shortest
cycle would be a flip-flop type oscillator, which
would take 2 transistors. More typically it would
take 5-10 transistors in series to complete a logic

Another complication is that modern chips may have
internal units running at different speeds than the
external clock. If I recall the fixed point
unit in the P4 processor actually runs at _twice_
the clock rate, and some chips run the L1 and L2
caches at less than the external clock rate.
Communication with main memory is around 1/10 the
clock rate.


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