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Sun Microsystems Wireless Networking Hardware Technology

Sun Working to Obsolete Motherboards 228

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the look-ma-no-solder dept.
perl_camel_jockey writes "Sun is developing a new technology that promises to increase computing power by eliminating the need for physical, soldered chip-to-chip connections on the motherboard. Called 'proximity communications', it portends the ability for chips to talk to one another wirelessly just by being next to each other. Potential applications in computer design abound. Apparently this is part of Sun's Hero program, recipient of a $50 million grant from DARPA's High Productivity Computing Systems program to rejuvenate supercomputing in the US and regain the lead lost to Japan, in particular to NEC's Earth Simulator, ranked as the most powerful supercomputer in the world."
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Sun Working to Obsolete Motherboards

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  • DUPE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakon (414580) * on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:41AM (#9897333) Journal
    ...
    You'd think that since they ask subscribers to email them if there's any problem with the story, they'd pay attention when we email them...
    *sigh*
  • Deja vu (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:48AM (#9897364)
    Such a good feeling to know that /. moderators actually know what is posted a few days ago. I mean, suppose ./ moderators would not even read the postings. Wouldn't that be silly?
  • Pride (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hypharse (633766) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:52AM (#9897370)
    Nothing like damaged pride to get the government to push along technology. Without Japan's competition this would probably not have happened. All we need is for Russia to cure a type of cancer using stem cells and congress would pass a law funding it the next day.

    About obsolete motherboards I have my doubts though. The Von Neumann (may be spelled wrong) model has been around for a long time because it has proven to work and it also supplies a lot of companies with revenue. If you only have a single chip, then a lot of companies are going to lose money and they won't like that. In fact there may be a silver lining in this that it will push motherboard manufacturers even further for fear of being wiped out by this type of technology.

  • by DupyMcCopy (803233) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:02AM (#9897396)
    Dust & dirt. I would imagine that at such low voltage levels, induced current would require a damn near perfect level of alignment between the chip and the "socket". This is admitted in the article. What they don't admit is that it's going to be nearly impossible to get the damn thing in the socket without letting dust or dirt inbetween the chip and the socket. And a more interesting topic is their consistent mentioning of taking the cache of the chip. That's a nice dream and all, but where the hell are you going to put it then? Hardwired onto the motherboard? That's going to dramatically increase the cost of mobo's (so they are simply shifting who gets to eat the high sticker price on their products). And what if I buy a quad capable mobo, but only put 2 processors on it, I'm effectively wasting 2 sets of cache, rather than simply wasting 2 cpu sockets, and the sockets are a hell of a lot cheaper than the cache. I suppose you could fix this by going back to COAST (cache on a stick, yeah i know you remember that nasty stuff). But that brings in a whole new problem: These days, cache is only fast because it's so close to the cpu. If they move it off the die, it's just going to be put back on in 2 years because we can't access the cache fast enough ever since we moved it off the die. I'm no super computer engineer, but these guys better have an entire family of rabbits they plan on pulling out of their asses or this fucker's gonna flop.
  • by syynnapse (781681) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:03AM (#9897402) Homepage
    i like when i see a headline and go "i wonder how many 'dupe!' posts there will be?" don't eliminate dupes... what would /. readers do with all their spare time?
  • Re:Worried... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ryouki (209039) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:38AM (#9897498) Homepage
    I dont think there is much to be worried about. The system the article discribes seems to be using capasitors spaning 2 chips to interconnect components on the system. One plate on each chip. The gap between the chips woudld work like a dieletric on a normal cap.

    I don't think they are trying to make a small computer with bluetooth or wifi glueing components together. Cables have more bandwidth than wireless.

    The security riskes for these "wireless" connections would be no more than that of a normal capacitor of the same size.
  • by syukton (256348) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:53AM (#9897529)
    The system could be inductively charged.

    You can transmit power as well as signals without wire. Really, all a singal is, is waveform-modified electromagnetic radiation. Radio transmission towers have their outputs measured in Watts, computers have their power consumption measured in, you guessed it, watts. Whether it's induction or using RF technology to energize the chips, it's entirely feasible *and* possible.

    I'm all for doing away with the motherboard and the wires all together anyhow. And jumpers too, I hate those little bastards.
  • Re:DUPE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2004 @05:09AM (#9897563)
    I know the reason there are so many dupes.

    Go to the search page and try and find something, it totally and absolutely sucks.

    Google searches slashdot better than slashdot searches itself. Try it.

    How are you supposed to stop dupes when you can't even search your own database?

    More to the point, you subscribers aren't paying for much. The only thing they do is give articles the nod, and they still can't get it right. Let alone make their pages compliant, stop the 503 and 500 errors, make the search work or ANYTHING else.

    Slack, if you ask me.

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