Researchers Successfully Produce A Silicon-less CPU

/ 4 years ago
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One of the biggest driving factors behind the advancement in computers has undoubtedly been the silicon chip. It is, however, even today, still a remarkably difficult technology to work with. While improvements are possible (particularly with smaller node designs) it is costing companies insane amounts of money to produce (relatively speaking) small gains. It doesn’t exactly take a market expert, for example, to see just how difficult it has been for Intel to transition from their 14nm processor designs.

In a report via TechPowerUp, however, researchers at MIT have claimed to have made something of a breakthrough. They have produced a CPU that doesn’t use silicon, at all!

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CPU Designed Without Silicon

The processor is based upon the RISC-V architecture and has been created utilizing carbon nanotubes. Known as the RV16X Nano, the chip itself isn’t particularly powerful and can only currently run one very basic program and, in addition, only support RAM speeds of up to 10MHz.

Every new innovation has to start somewhere, however, and the potential within this design is arguably more interesting (and likely cost-effective in the long term) than the continued struggle for low NM silicon processor designs.

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What Do We Think?

While this might not too impressive at this stage, the potential offered here is very exciting. Why? Well, many believed that CPU design is (practically) intrinsically tied into silicon. As such, this design proves that (at the very least) alternative options are available.

This RX16X Nano may indeed be the Model Ford T to the future Bugatti Veyron. It’s a long way away, but it’s amazing stuff none-the-less!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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