In what could be called a major technological innovation, scientists have
unveiled an ultra-fast chip which they claim could make desktop
computers 20 times faster than the current ones.
Modern computers have a processor with two, four or sometimes 16 cores to
carry out tasks. Now, a team, led by the University of Glasgow, has
developed a central processing unit which effectively have 1,000 cores
on a single microchip.
The developments could usher in a new age of high-speed computing in the
next few years for home users frustrated with slow-running systems; the
new "super" computer is also much greener than modern machines,
despite its high speed, say its developers.
The scientists used a chip called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
which like all microchips contains millions of transistors -- tiny
on-off switches that are the foundation of any electronic circuit,
But FPGAs can be configured into specific circuits by the user, rather than
their function being set at a factory. This enabled the team to divide
up the transistors within the chip into small groups and ask each to
perform a task.
By creating more than 1,000 mini-circuits within the FPGA chip, the
scientists effectively turned the chip into a 1,000-core processor --
each core working on its own instructions.