2 billion transistors on one chip.

  Forum Editor 12:49 05 Feb 2008
Locked

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That's some wiring job.

  Stuartli 13:27 05 Feb 2008

Amazing really.

Love the classic understatement: "The dual-core Power6 processor contains just 790 million transistors".

So few must prove a real disappointment to its owners.

  Earthsea 14:30 05 Feb 2008

Well, my Pentium M 740 uses 90 nanometre technology and has 140 million transistors. This laptop was state-of-the-art 2½ years ago...

But it still has bags more power than I need.

  interzone55 15:12 05 Feb 2008

The next generation Sun chip, code named Rock, has 16 cores, but "only" 410m transistors.
click here

Why does the Intel Tukwila need so many?

  pj123 15:15 05 Feb 2008

So who counted them? and how long did it take?

  Earthsea 15:28 05 Feb 2008

'Why does the Intel Tukwila need so many?'

It's designed for high-end servers.

  interzone55 15:31 05 Feb 2008

That was exactly my question when I first read it.

It's a bit like a news item I saw a couple of weeks ago when London Zoo was doing their annual "stock check", counting things like elephants is quite easy, but the insects are a little more difficult as they are small, numerous and tend to move about a lot. At least the transistors stay in one place as you count them.

  interzone55 15:32 05 Feb 2008

I'm aware of that, the Sun Rock CPU is also designed for high-end servers & super computer clusters yet manages to have 16 cores with only 410mn transistors.

  Earthsea 15:50 05 Feb 2008

They're both completely different architectures, and Intel use a lot of them for memory. I assume Sun don't.

Since your link says the Rock comes out in the second half of next year and Tukwila´s successor, the Poulson, is expected to be released sometime between 2010 and 2011, it'll be interesting to see how they match up.

  Forum Editor 18:29 05 Feb 2008

Well, it means it can work more efficiently. Lots of the transistors are used as a memory buffer, and because they are on the chip that means the data transfer has to travel almost no distance at all - so the chip is efficient, at least in that respect.

It uses quite a bit of power in relative terms, and it 'only' runs at 2GHz, but it's ideally suited for its application.

  laurie53 19:55 05 Feb 2008

I can remember one of the selling points on my first transistor radio was that it had "seven, yes seven" transistors!

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