Tech News March 21, 2014

  • Graphene Helps Copper Wires Keep Their Cool

    An exotic form of carbon could help relieve a growing problem with the copper used in computer processors.

    When people in the chip industry talk about the thermal problems in computer processors, they get dramatic. In 2001, Pat Gelsinger, then vice president of Intel, noted that if the temperatures produced by the latest chips kept rising on their current path, they would exceed the heat of a nuclear reactor by 2005, and the surface of the sun by 2015. Fortunately, such thermal disaster was averted by slowing down the switching speeds in microprocessors, and by adopting multicore chip designs in which several processors run in parallel.

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