IBM debuts POWER5; announces ‘morphing’ chip within a decade

“Within a decade, IBM Corp. expects to make microchips that will be able to change their own physical configuration, adding memory or removing unneeded bits of circuitry on the fly to optimize performance,” AP reports. “The morphing chips were disclosed Wednesday as IBM revealed wide-ranging plans for the company’s current generation of processors, the Power5.”

“Big Blue hopes to work with outside technology developers to make Power chips a flexible, widely used driver of several kinds of computing systems, from high-end corporate servers to video game consoles and handheld devices. Microprocessors have gotten ever faster by cramming more and more transistors onboard, but physical limitations of chip materials are making it harder to shrink the dimensions much further. So instead of continually relying on improvements in chip speed, next-generation chips will have to cleverly combine more computing functions, said Bernard Meyerson, IBM’s chief technologist,” AP reports.

“The self-altering chip is one way of achieving that. Here’s how it would work: Continually running electrical current through a tiny circuit can cause its materials to erode, as individual atoms get stripped and dragged away by the electricity. Eventually the metal breaks,” AP reports. “Chip designers got around the problem by carefully choosing a blend of metals. Now, Meyerson said, IBM has developed a way to make the metal erosion happen at will _ when software running the chip determines that part of the circuitry needs cutting or tuning. ‘It’s a bit frightening to the typical designer,’ Meyerson said.”

The basis for the G5 in Apple’s Power Mac line is IBM’s Power4. No mention was made of Apple during the Power5 presentation.

Full article here.

17 Comments

  1. IBM/Skynet/Apple/World domination anyone?

    The self-altering chip is one way of achieving that.

    Here’s how it would work: Continually running electrical current through a tiny circuit can cause its materials to erode, as individual atoms get stripped and dragged away by the electricity. Eventually the metal breaks.

    Chip designers got around the problem by carefully choosing a blend of metals. Now, Meyerson said, IBM has developed a way to make the metal erosion happen at will _ when software running the chip determines that part of the circuitry needs cutting or tuning.

  2. “For example, a Chinese company, CultureCom Holdings Ltd., has modified Power chips to get them to understand Chinese characters, removing the need for translation software. “

    how many more April 1 stories must we deal with?

  3. Stevenote+ WWDC+SF Pride vs. Terafast G6
    0-1

    Nobody.
    I would also say: AmaZinG experience for one week ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    I really don’t know…
    Flights 3000� + (HEL-LHR-SFO-LHR-HEL)
    Hotel 1000- � (***)
    Eat&Shop; 1500� (or more?)
    Misc 500�
    Total 6000�
    (WWDC ticket that I already have $1595 from ADC)
    That nearly makes one G6 with some memory?

  4. to moto: What power? So far all the new rumors of faster IBM chips (faster g5, g6) are vaporware.
    Forget windows,When�s apple going to bring out a faster computer????

  5. I, too, am unbelievably bored with Ipod/Itunes stuff.

    I need powerful computers, don’t care about Ipods at all except as a profit center for Apple so they can keep making the computers I need.

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