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SCI/TECH: AMD Strains Silicon in New Microprocessors

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posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:41 PM
AMD will be adopting strained silicon technology for a new array of processors that will be available in the fall. The technology is likely to improve their ability to ship high speed microprocessors while maintaining yields and heat dissipation.

AMD Strains Silicon in New Microprocessors
Silicon-on-Insulator and strained silicon appear to be the technologies that AMD, Intel and IBM pin a lot of hopes on during the next three to five years. Both technologies are intended to keep increasing the speed of current flowing through a microprocessor and to address the connected issues, such as power leakage. SOI adds a thin oxide layer to a silicon wafer in order to insulate the circuit against power leakage. Strained silicon, in its incarnation that is used by Intel Corp. and IBM, deposits a layer of silicon germanium on top of a silicon wafer. This stretches the silicon atoms to let electrons flow faster through a circuit.

According to reports from Semiconductor Reporter and CNET, Advanced Micro Devices is incorporating strained silicon into all the firms 90nm microprocessors that started shipping last week. Additionally, the Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker is expected to use strained silicon with its future 130nm microprocessors, which is a rather surprising move, as chipmakers typically tend to migrate to thinner fabrication processes to allow higher-speed chips and decrease production costs, but not to advance older-generation manufacturing technologies.

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posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:50 PM
As usual, the question will be, can AMD get anyone to make a decent chipset for these new processors? That has always been the problem in the past.

posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:53 PM

Originally posted by Ambient Sound
As usual, the question will be, can AMD get anyone to make a decent chipset for these new processors? That has always been the problem in the past.

Well there are decent chipsets out right now for them:

VIA K8T800

The above chipsets are great. Very stable as I've built many systems with them and I've never had a single problem. These days I use either the VIA K8T800 PRO or the NVIDIA NFORCE3 250GB chipsets.

posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 11:11 AM
I'm a fan of AMD. They haven't strained like Intel has to incorporate such advanced technologies, and they make really reliable chips. Everything I've read on AMD CPU's say to use nForce chipsets. I use an nForce2.

I am really wondering about overclocking the new chips... 130nm? That may be an excellent move for the overclocker community. AMD is really big on this subject and have purposefully left the chip 'open', unlike Intel chips. Basically, Intel chips you can only increase your bus speeds to overclock them. AMD allows you to reset bus speeds, core voltages, cache, etc. The only problem I've really encountered with AMD's is overheating, and that's about the only problem anyone else I've talked to has. I'm wondering if they aren't going to the 130nm to overcome this, or possibly allow the processor to run at higher temparatures... that would be sweet! I'm already looking into water cooled heatsinks so I can bump my AMD from 2.08 to around 3g. Maybe these new chips will be able to get a bump up to near or beyond 4G.... we can only hope! IMHO, AMD = Cyrix (minus the math error), and AMD's are so much cheaper in cost than Intel. *crosses fingers hoping for 'X-Chips' mutant superprocessors*


posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 02:17 AM

I've used AMD processors in every system I've had since my first lowly 100mhz (K-6?) system. Not once have I encountered a processor-related problem. Got to give them credit for being able to do what the "industry leaders" do--and to do it faster, cheaper, and more efficiently to boot.

Compatible chipsets have been at issue in some cases, but not so much anymore. IMO, both nVidia and VIA solutions are both quite capable.

posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 03:45 AM
I also am a fan of AMD and have been a convert since the first iteration of the Athlon. They have proven time and time again that they can play in the same ball park as intel and kick their arse in performance at the same time.


posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 10:27 PM
I built my latest system around the Barton core 2800. I do heating and air, so when I found a 8,000 BTU window unit that I was able to fix, I mounted a piece of insulated duct to the side of my computer where the case window used to be. My CPU normally runs with 100% load (seti client) at about 64 degrees F. I have another case I am building a small low temp refrigeration unit for that will supply the case with 36 degree air, right now the window unit supplies 47 degree air to case. I only have 2 fans in the computer, one on the CPU and one that came in the power supply. Works great.

[edit on 22-8-2004 by who]

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