Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Aug 2010 23:24 UTC
IBM At the Hot Chips 2010 conference, IBM announced their upcoming z196 CPU, which is really, really fast. How fast? Fastest chip in the world fast. Intended for Z-series mainframe computers, the Z196 has a clock speed of 5.2GHz. Measuring just 512 square millimeters, the Z196 is fabricated on 45nm PD SOI technology, and on its surface contains almost one and a half billion transistors. My... Processor is bigger than yours.
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leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

Wow, while everyone else went on scientific reasoning of why RAM is fast or not fast..

The slowest path of computing at this point in time isn't RAM, which is probably the second slowest, the slowest is through the hard drive!

RAM keeps getting faster and faster. Hard drive technology really hasn't changed all that much since the beginning.

It's sad that it has been the bottleneck in real speed for so long. If only SSD technology was FAR cheaper than it is. Then maybe we can finally start pushing the limits of the PCI(e/x) and Memory bus.

Reply Parent Score: 2

cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

Mainframes tend to have Terabytes of ram just for that reason even my schools compute servers that students use have 64Gb ram and 8x cores. Also wasn't it just the other week that that group demonstrated sorting and archiving 1Tb of data in a minute? http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/07/27/2231219/Data-Sorting-Wor...

I believe there was a graph I once saw that showed a strong correlation between the speed of AI computations and the size of CPU cache. Such computations don't benefit much from faster access to data on an HD but do benefit greatly from data that can be accessed quickly from cache. What I'm trying to say is 1ms vs 100ms is still slow compared to 5-10ns or less.

Reply Parent Score: 1

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

No, you are all missing the point.

It is not that a computer is as fast as it slowest component. The whole point of computer architecture is to make the common case fast. Veeeeery different.

So yeah, the booting speeds may have not progressed that much since they are constrained to the speed of the disk subsystem, which indeed is quite slow. But booting up is not the common case, is it? Running code is. And for the most part, most modern computers tend to utilize their processors rather well, try running a modern game on an old P3. This like databases etc are obviously more sensitive to I/O, but the machines used to run them are not necessarily comparable to a modern single user PC.

Reply Parent Score: 2