Post image for New research shines light on future of personal computers

New research shines light on future of personal computers

by Kelly MacNeil on January 10, 2011

Scientists from the University of Glasgow have developed what is believed to be one of the fastest computer ever built. Researchers have managed to create a central processing unit (CPU) that holds 1,000 cores on a single chip and is expected to be 20 times faster than most desktop computer, The Daily Mail reports.

The speed comes from the amount of cores on the chip, experts say. While most personal computers have a processor that usually holds no more than 16 cores per chip, the latest innovation is a giant step forward. The developers also claim that because it allows a computer to run much more quickly without using up any extra energy, the machine is more environmentally friendly than most modern computers.

The innovation is the result of a chip called the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), which allows users to make specific settings rather than having them set at the factory. As a result, researchers were able to create around 1,000 individual circuits in the chip – making it able to process around five gigabytes of data per second.

Though the study demonstrated that using the chips can allow computers to run much faster, their use is limited in most commercial computers. However, the scientists are optimistic that their work will encourage manufactures to include them more frequently.

"While many existing technologies currently make use of FPGAs, including plasma and LCD televisions and computer network routers, their use in standard desk-top computers is limited," study leader Dr. Wim Vanderbauwhede told the news source. "However, we are already seeing some microchips which combine traditional CPUs with FPGA chips being announced by developers, including Intel and ARM."

Vanderbauwhede, who worked in conjunction with researchers from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, hopes to present his findings at the upcoming International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing.

Previous post:

Next post: