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Sun Working to Obsolete Motherboards

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the look-ma-no-solder dept.

Sun Microsystems 228

perl_camel_jockey writes "Sun is developing a new technology that promises to increase computing power by eliminating the need for physical, soldered chip-to-chip connections on the motherboard. Called 'proximity communications', it portends the ability for chips to talk to one another wirelessly just by being next to each other. Potential applications in computer design abound. Apparently this is part of Sun's Hero program, recipient of a $50 million grant from DARPA's High Productivity Computing Systems program to rejuvenate supercomputing in the US and regain the lead lost to Japan, in particular to NEC's Earth Simulator, ranked as the most powerful supercomputer in the world."

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228 comments

In other news.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897330)

Slashdot Microsystems is working hard on a system to eliminate duplicate postings [slashdot.org]. They hope to have the system working by early 2008.

LOL - you beat me to it - You get a virtual 5! :) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897371)

5 / Funny / Inightful / Indignant :)

Re:In other news.. (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897378)

Motherdupes about motherboards. Mama Mia. What bunch of motherf........nevermind. Me chill.

Re:In other news.. (1)

illuminata (668963) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897401)

It doesn't count anymore. The last one was made in the brand new IT section, this one was not. See, see? Two completely different articles! If this was indeed a duplicate, it would be in IT category!

Slashdot would never post anything resembling a dupe; you should know that. It seems like everybody tries to tarnish a good track record...

Sun Invents a new computer form factor (3, Funny)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897403)

CIAB-X (Computer In A Bag-X). You can overclock the system by jumbling the chips to get more optimal chip layouts. All powered by microwave.

The downside is that kids can no longer tell the difference between their candy bags and your new UBER-1337 computers.

Re:Sun Invents a new computer form factor (4, Funny)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897414)

The downside is that kids can no longer tell the difference between their candy bags and your new UBER-1337 computers.

I got a rock.

Re:In other news.. (1, Funny)

slashdevslashtty (712925) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897448)

Early 2008 is a very optimistic goal. Professional analysis indicates "hackers" will surely have stolen the source code, forcing a rewrite and delaying it more than a year.

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897476)

But do they run Linux? And what impact will this have on my privacy?

Re:In other news.. (1, Funny)

danamania (540950) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897666)

But do they run Linux? And what impact will this have on my privacy?

You no longer need to just settle for wardriving for network access, you can wardrive for CPU time as well.

Want to improve your dnetc scores? Easy done! just tune into your neighbour's computer, and get theirs to tune into those of their neighbour, and their neighbour beyond that... :)

Re:In other news.. (1)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897533)

Must be hallucinating. In related news XP SP2 is delayed and CowboyNeal gets fan club... (in Japan).

They're not duplicates.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897613)

They're just clustered posts.

DUPE (4, Insightful)

Drakon (414580) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897333)

...
You'd think that since they ask subscribers to email them if there's any problem with the story, they'd pay attention when we email them...
*sigh*

Re:DUPE (4, Interesting)

johnhennessy (94737) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897458)


How about allowing subscribers to moderate stories before they hit the main site.

People who are really busy could browse at +5 "Don't do anything else until you read this !!!" while people with loads of time (or in college) could browse at normal levels.

Oh, and as a plus, you would eliminate dupes as well.

Be Positive... (1, Funny)

KrisHolland (660643) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897494)

Now is our chance go steal the +5 insightful comments and karma-whore like there is no tommrow ;).

Re:Be Positive... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897770)

what's the point anymore when everyone has excellent karma..

(the karma system is broken, any idiotic comments that don't outright just troll will gain enough karma for excellent in couple of months..)

Re:DUPE (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897563)

I know the reason there are so many dupes.

Go to the search page and try and find something, it totally and absolutely sucks.

Google searches slashdot better than slashdot searches itself. Try it.

How are you supposed to stop dupes when you can't even search your own database?

More to the point, you subscribers aren't paying for much. The only thing they do is give articles the nod, and they still can't get it right. Let alone make their pages compliant, stop the 503 and 500 errors, make the search work or ANYTHING else.

Slack, if you ask me.

Re:DUPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897641)

You'd think that since they ask subscribers to email them if there's any problem with the story, they'd pay attention when we email them... *sigh*

Well, you're hardly able to criticize, as you're not the first [slashdot.org] person to point this out.

Re:DUPE (1)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897708)

Nah, that would imply they cared that their site is becoming a bigger and bigger joke.

But lets face it, they don't.

Wow... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897337)

Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that.

Re:Wow... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897432)

I think you mean Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that. Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that. Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that. Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that. Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that. Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that. Slashdot repeats itself.. yet again. Imagine that.

This is great news for my CPU (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897344)

Now I can get the CPU into a separate cooling unit from the rest of the system so that I can pay less for more cooling where I need it.

Groundhog day (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897348)

I think this has happened before...

Re:Groundhog day (4, Funny)

silverz (803241) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897418)

A deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.

Re:Groundhog day (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897443)

+1 Informative, Mr. Anderson.....Slashdot Readers consume all available bandwidth, and they move on, to another site...or something like that.

asdf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897349)

asdf [asdf.com].

For a close to first post post.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897351)

...motherboards obsolete Sun!

uhm... i can see it now (3, Funny)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897353)

Cost of all the chips and stuff that makes up an über-1337 computer - 1000$

Cost of fancy cabinet w/ window to artisticly put all your wireless chips in - 200$

The look on your face as your motehr fires up her old vacuum cleaner, blanketing the area with RF-noise - priceless.

Re:uhm... i can see it now (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897433)

Dupe story...$1

Overused Mastercard joke....$10

Knowing that WegianWarrior still lives with his mom...priceless

Re:uhm... i can see it now (-1, Offtopic)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897777)


Knowing that WegianWarrior still lives with his mom...priceless


Man, I wish I could mod to +10,Funny!

Re:uhm... i can see it now (4, Informative)

ca1v1n (135902) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897434)

Actually, since the system uses capacitive coupling, you'd have a much bigger problem with the ionized particles released by the vacuum cleaner. The $200 cabinet should keep your system running quite happily.

Hehe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897354)

Yeah, it's a dupe. [streamtoyou.com]

Poor Sun...! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897358)

Sun should direct their efforts in making themselves relevant in today's tech/IT field. I see them becoming irelevant and in big trouble pretty soon! This is a mis-directed effort, and as such, will fail. Poor Sun.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897361)

...postings duplicate Slashdot!

Deja vu (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897364)

Such a good feeling to know that /. moderators actually know what is posted a few days ago. I mean, suppose ./ moderators would not even read the postings. Wouldn't that be silly?

Re:Deja vu (3, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897440)

Why should the moderators read the postings? After all, most are dupes anyway, where they will not learn anything new. :-)

Pride (5, Insightful)

Hypharse (633766) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897370)

Nothing like damaged pride to get the government to push along technology. Without Japan's competition this would probably not have happened. All we need is for Russia to cure a type of cancer using stem cells and congress would pass a law funding it the next day.

About obsolete motherboards I have my doubts though. The Von Neumann (may be spelled wrong) model has been around for a long time because it has proven to work and it also supplies a lot of companies with revenue. If you only have a single chip, then a lot of companies are going to lose money and they won't like that. In fact there may be a silver lining in this that it will push motherboard manufacturers even further for fear of being wiped out by this type of technology.

Re:Pride (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897398)

RTFA, no one is saying there will be only one chip.

Re:Pride (-1, Offtopic)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897412)

Russia to cure a type of cancer using stem cells and congress would pass a law funding it the next day.

Soviet Georgia has phages which could replace antibiotics in some instances and kill antibiotic resistant infections. We haven't funded it yet. Possibly since Soviet Georgia hasn't found a way to capitalize on the tech.

Phages (offtopic) (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897562)

I'd heard that the phage department of that hospital was in danger of being shut down due to funding problems a few years back. Are they still going?

Re:Pride (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897511)

Von Neumann [vt.edu]

Nice to meet someone who has heard of 'Von Neumann'. I have a hard time to immediately connect physical implementation to the architecture [wikipedia.org] though and I doubt that you followed up there --> Dieudonné [1981] is a little more generous with words but appears to confuse the concept of the stored program concept with the wiring of computers: "Dissatisfied with the computing machines available immediately after the war, he was led to examine from its foundations the optimal method that such machines should follow, and he introduced new procedures in the logical organization, the "codes" by which a fixed system of wiring could solve a great variety of problems.".
loc. cit. [vt.edu]

CC.

Re:Pride (1, Informative)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897543)

I doubt that part about stem cells.
You may be surprised how close this already is to reality. Mainland China has already commercialized a form of gene therapy that has had powerful results on a broad range of cancers. It has a brand name even, it's called Gendicine. Google it if you doubt it could be real and you could have not heard of it.
In fact, Bush's science advisor has publicly stated that he thinks mortality is essential for human dignity. This is an extension of the belief that human morality is based on Christain principles in which death is a reward for those who live according the Christain version of morality in which heaven is a reward.
Hey, I wish I was making this up. This is all far too real. It's also true that both the East Coast and the West Coast urban population centers along with the Chicago area are totally out of synch politically with the rest of the country which is where the federal government is controlled. I wish it were otherwise, but this is a fact.
If Russia had stem cell therapy that worked today to cure Diabetes, Heart Disease and Parkinsons I would not expect to see it in the US any time soon. However, I expect such therapies are already quite feasible.

Re:Pride (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897564)

"mortality is essential for human dignity." - I don't think this has anything to do with Christian principles. It is just how life is organized.

Imagine what could happen if nobody dies anymore - we will probably all die in the next few decades due to overpopulation, hunger and pollution.

Re:Pride (1, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897586)

Imagine what could happen if nobody dies anymore - we will probably all die in the next few decades

There's something not quite right here, but I can't put my finger on it...

Re:Pride (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897581)

Great post.

You joined my friends list.

Am I missing something? (5, Interesting)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897372)

"it portends the ability for chips to talk to one another wirelessly just by being next to each other."

Well, unless each chip comes equipped with its own miniaturized nuclear reactor, aren't they still all going to have to have leads running to the powersupply?

I don't mean to be a heckler, but are you really "doing away" with the motherboard or just reducing it to a voltage bus with transmitters and receivers replacing some of the input and output pins?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897475)

A damn good point, the only way I can see them powering such devices wirelessly is if they use a coil and place it in a magnetic field. Of course such a strong magnetic field will play havoc with anything close by so the PC cases will need good magnetic shielding.

So there you have it, this is a tech which we aren't going to see for 10-20 years. Sun desperately needs some good ideas now, they won't be around in 10-20 years if they don't sort out their near future.

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897512)

You don't need a PCB to supply DC power; the constraints on power connections are less than those on fast signal-paths. Manufacturers could put each block of function (could be more than one chip) in an epoxy package with power leads coming out. The motherboard is then replaced by a kind of DC power-strip.

Re:Am I missing something? (4, Insightful)

syukton (256348) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897529)

The system could be inductively charged.

You can transmit power as well as signals without wire. Really, all a singal is, is waveform-modified electromagnetic radiation. Radio transmission towers have their outputs measured in Watts, computers have their power consumption measured in, you guessed it, watts. Whether it's induction or using RF technology to energize the chips, it's entirely feasible *and* possible.

I'm all for doing away with the motherboard and the wires all together anyhow. And jumpers too, I hate those little bastards.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897706)

I'm all for doing away with Phoenix and their We-Don't-Trust-You BS.

Re:Am I missing something? (1, Offtopic)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897741)

And who gives a crap about efficiency? This device needs 400w, i could run a wire to it and send 400w or I could build a nuclear reactor and blast it with 15 gigawatts!

Oh crap I just developed cancer, guess that sending 400w over a copper wire wasn't such a stupid idea after all.

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897697)

This technology is only for interconnecting the different dies together. Currently you can buy flash & SRAM stack chips on a single package (for the cell phone market). This is done with stackchip technology using die to die connection.

This technology is useless at the system level because of tight mechanical alignment issues. Think optic bench experiments - heavy table, stabilized and 3D alignment to line chips together to form a big system. Oh yes, power, misc signals etc.

PCB will still be used for doing medium/low bandwidth connections because currently all available parts are designed for PCB assembly. PCB is the cheapest & most efficient technology to do this for years to come.

They still need to solve heat issue when you now have the heat of all the stack chips in a single physical package to dissipate.

Space (1)

DupyMcCopy (803233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897386)

One thing is for sure. If they can get this to work and if heat production can be cut down, this would make computing equipment and electronics much smaller. The printed circuit board is one of the big things holding us back from much better electronics miniaturization.

nothing to see here... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897387)

just a pearoast, move along.

Worried... (4, Interesting)

rpbailey1642 (766298) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897388)

I might just be horribly ignorant, so please inform me...security? Even though all it is transferring is system calls and such, I am certain that there are ways to back-engineer what the computer is doing at that time by reading the (very faint, I'm sure) wireless signals. Again, I do not know, so will someone please enlighten me? What exactly is going on, what are the security ramifications?

Re:Worried... (5, Insightful)

ryouki (209039) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897498)

I dont think there is much to be worried about. The system the article discribes seems to be using capasitors spaning 2 chips to interconnect components on the system. One plate on each chip. The gap between the chips woudld work like a dieletric on a normal cap.

I don't think they are trying to make a small computer with bluetooth or wifi glueing components together. Cables have more bandwidth than wireless.

The security riskes for these "wireless" connections would be no more than that of a normal capacitor of the same size.

Re:Worried... (4, Informative)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897604)

You have many hundreds of transmitters next to each other in the space of just a few square milimeters. Their transmission power needs to be so low that they don't interfere with their neighbours. The mix of signals which radiate off from that arrangement should be close to impossible to decode.

In any case, in conventional devices the pins will also work as (very low-power) transmitters, too. So once you've found a method of decoding this signal mix, you can probably get at the information on conventional chips, too.

Re:Worried... (3, Informative)

songbo (614466) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897653)

Actually, there are already methods available to figure out what the chip does currently. I have heard of one that tries to measure the power usage, at each fetch-execute cycle, and based on that, can figure out what kind of instructions have been run. The CPU already gives out EM radiation which can be detected. It may be just a matter of figuring out what kind of signal is radiated when each instruction is being executed to know what instructions are being run. So the same security concerns already exist today.

Re:Worried... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897661)

All electronic equipment is already wireless to a certain extent. If I play my bass guitar while directly facing my computer monitor, I can hear a buzzing hum through my amp. I used to have a poorly-shielded sound card where I could hear the CD-ROM, hard drive, and CPU (possibly just the fan). The signals are already being spammed through the air well enough to be detected from inside the case, and possibly outside it too. Making chips talk to each other through the air will probably not be a matter of boosting the signal strength, but reducing it to cut down on crosstalk and other sorts of interference. Otherwsie you'd have the onboard NIC hearing the CPU talk to the memory bus and getting confused. Perhaps not reducing the strength, but controlling it more precisely at least.

I see it now... ;-) (5, Funny)

Henk Poley (308046) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897394)

Honey, I'll warm you something in the microwave!

Noooo...

[Beep] rebooting... grmbl...

Heat? Naw. Here's some better problems. (3, Insightful)

DupyMcCopy (803233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897396)

Dust & dirt. I would imagine that at such low voltage levels, induced current would require a damn near perfect level of alignment between the chip and the "socket". This is admitted in the article. What they don't admit is that it's going to be nearly impossible to get the damn thing in the socket without letting dust or dirt inbetween the chip and the socket. And a more interesting topic is their consistent mentioning of taking the cache of the chip. That's a nice dream and all, but where the hell are you going to put it then? Hardwired onto the motherboard? That's going to dramatically increase the cost of mobo's (so they are simply shifting who gets to eat the high sticker price on their products). And what if I buy a quad capable mobo, but only put 2 processors on it, I'm effectively wasting 2 sets of cache, rather than simply wasting 2 cpu sockets, and the sockets are a hell of a lot cheaper than the cache. I suppose you could fix this by going back to COAST (cache on a stick, yeah i know you remember that nasty stuff). But that brings in a whole new problem: These days, cache is only fast because it's so close to the cpu. If they move it off the die, it's just going to be put back on in 2 years because we can't access the cache fast enough ever since we moved it off the die. I'm no super computer engineer, but these guys better have an entire family of rabbits they plan on pulling out of their asses or this fucker's gonna flop.

Re:Heat? Naw. Here's some better problems. (1)

appleLaserWriter (91994) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897483)

What they don't admit is that it's going to be nearly impossible to get the damn thing in the socket without letting dust or dirt inbetween the chip and the socket.

You just need to develop an airtight transport and allignment system. There will be some complexity involved.

Re:Heat? Naw. Here's some better problems. (1)

swordfishBob (536640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897656)

I thought the article mentioned butting chips up to each other. i.e. a cache (or other memory) chip against 1 side of the CPU.
Dust wouldn't be a problem, but magnetic particles, or slivers of wire would - but stray metal is bad for all kinds of electrics.

It would give new meaning to terms like "North bridge" though - actual physical orientation of the ports on a chip!

Re:Heat? Naw. Here's some better problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897693)

nevermind dust and dirt, imagine the health hazards. Some people think cell phones and radio masts' signals are bad, well they'll be nothing compared with the kind of signals required to handle the bandwidth these chips will need to communicate with each other. There is no way I am having a minature microwave oven / radar station under the desk blasting me day in and out.

Great opportunity for Sun (4, Funny)

murr (214674) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897399)

Sun should find this project rather easy going - their motherboards ARE already pretty obsolete anyway.

dupes as an important thing? (1, Insightful)

syynnapse (781681) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897402)

i like when i see a headline and go "i wonder how many 'dupe!' posts there will be?" don't eliminate dupes... what would /. readers do with all their spare time?

about linux.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897417)

I LIKE LINUX AND .' `.
GETTING KICKED IN --- |a_a |
THE BALLS AND FACE \<_)__/
/( )\
|\`> < /\
jgs \_|=='|_/


Important Stuff [lemonparty.org]
Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)
If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.
Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.
Important Stuff
Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)
If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.
Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.

With a builtin Microwave Pizza oven (-1, Redundant)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897421)

But considering the leak currents and other problems faced with a good insulator like Si02 , I consider the interesting "radio spill over" that these chips will cause .

Here's an imaginary scenario of using one of these in a hospital :

<computer_d00d> Whoa , look at it boot .. *drool*
<old_unix_guru> *ungfh* *engeh*
* old_unix_guru clutches chest and has a heart attack while d00d plays Halflife 2
(eventhough this is an imaginary scenario, Duke Nukem Forever would have been wishful thinking).

Hmm... a Box that finally double tasks as a microwave pizza warmers (Rack U1s are good, but they tend to heat the covers too). Of course I hope they advance computer cooking at the cost of American Taxpayers :)

<obligatory>
Imagine a bewoulf cluster of these ....... (chips that work when you place them together)
</obligatory>

DRM Evasion? (1, Funny)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897444)

I guess some people will cover their chips with little tinfoil hats so they don't broadcast to home?

Consequences (3, Funny)

doktorstop (725614) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897456)

Let me visualise this... you need the chips but you don't need them to be on a motherboard... how would a computer look? A plastic bag full of chips? you dig in, take the processor out and throw in a new one to upgrade? groovy

Dupe = Spam? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897468)

Can dupes be considered spam?

WTF? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897470)

It was pointed out yesterday, when this article was duped first the first time, that this had been posted sometime last year. Seriously, WTF? How out of touch are the slashdot moderators?

Re:WTF? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897490)

Probably out-of-touch enough to mod you Flamebait or Troll, heh...blah blah blah Inow I am just writing stuff to beat the 2 minute time limit because SlashShit sucks my cock like a vacuum cleaner on high speed dum dee dum dee dum whoops-a-daisy.....

This isn't about disconnected chips (4, Informative)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897497)

It's about increasing chip-to-chip bandwidth by using capacitative coupling instead of (comparatively huge) physical wires. This means the chips would have to be more closely connected, probably slotting together like lego bricks.

three time repost? (1, Funny)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897556)

i guess /. really, really, really wants to make sure everyone reads this story.

i'm still trying to figure out why though.

The really interesting thing about this (1, Offtopic)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897577)

Is that it represents the first step towards real ubiquitous computing. With this technology, there's really no need to have the computer be bound to the actual physical box. You can put the chips in just about anything as long as they can communicate, basically. So you could literally be surrounded by a computer when stepping into a room with chips embedded in the walls. Now that's pervasive computing, we could have real "smart" buildings!

Okay its a dupe, but it is a cool concept (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897594)

I still fail to see how this is not going to mix up the signals from various different chips without modulating the ones and zeros, and thus, how it is going to be faster than direct electrical connections at light speed. But they've probably spent some time thinking about it so i'll believe it for now. What I think is spectacular about the idea are the possibilities to cluster. <imagination>Now if they make them transparent and solar powered and spherical, building a supercomputer may get as simple as filling up a pool with marbles.</imagination>

C=64 Reminder (3, Interesting)

incog8723 (579923) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897611)

This reminds me of an issue with a C=64 I used to have that I had removed the aluminum foil casing from (inside the case). The 6502 processor wirelessly queried the SID chip for reassurance and understanding.

Sincerely,
Ass-embly Language

This sh*t is cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897677)

Say what you want about Sun (and BSD and SGI etc etc) at least they do produce the odd cool thing. I think this sort of development is cool, kudos to Sun for having a go at it. Least they're not like those useless Redmond f*ckers who shout "innovation" left and right while developing precisely nothing new, just buying up anything that works and works well and rebranding it their own.

Yeah...f*ck Microsoft..so sue me.

Chip Issues (4, Interesting)

drakyri (727902) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897684)

One of the issues we run into where I work (we make oscillators) is that chips behave differently over their specified temperature operating range. Commercial parts are rated from 0 to 70 Celsius (Industrial : -40/+85, Military : -55/+125). Commercial range is pretty decent for most applications; the average user wouldn't expect their computer innards to be heating up past 150 Farenheit. Anyhow, the simpler chips we make operate differently at different temperatures (the part I'm working on now is rated +- 100 parts per million).

A more complicated way of making these is to make what's called an Oven-Controlled model - you basically create a little oven that responds to the temperature of the chip, keeping it at a certain optimal temperature. These parts are much more stable and accurate; they vary in parts per billion. Dust is a big concern during manufacture; they're pretty sensitive, but once they're sealed, they're more or less set to go.

On a completely seperate note, I have to wonder what kind of issues Sun will be having with crosstalk on their new mobo's.

verberation! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897685)

Is there no word that /. will not verberate?

(goa7 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897720)

All along. *BSD hot on the heels of a 5uper-organised I'm discussing

Everything is everything (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9897737)

The more I talk about it, the less I do control

Everything means Everything

Can't understand a word

Half of the stuff we're saying

all this talk about wireless... (1)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 9 years ago | (#9897762)

when do you think we'll see a wireless power cable? that's what's truely needed.
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