The state of chips today

This article is interesting simply because of the complexity it describes in a single chip:

Cisco and IBM tout world's most complex chip

From the article: 47 billion instructions per second is about 80 times faster than a typical microporcessor today.

Something like Intel's Pentium chip contains a single general-purpose microprocessor and dedicates all of the transistors to it. For example, the Prescott version of the Pentium contains 125 million transistors, but a majority of them are tied up in highly standardized structures like the cache RAM.

IBM's chip contains about 50% more transistors and distributes them in a very different way. That is why it is possible to fit in 188 RISC processors and lots of other stuff.

It will be fascinating to see this level of customization and performance applied to application-specific robotic functions like vision, touch, speech processing, etc. As robots become more widespread, application-specific chips will become far more common, just like customized graphics processors are now standard equipment on today's PCs.

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