Thursday, November 30, 2006

Super interconnects, Part 2

Although it lost its bid to build a new supercomputer under the DARPA HPCS program, Sun Microsystems will continue developing the novel Proximity interconnect that was one part of its proposal. Jim Mitchell, who oversees the Sun project, said systems using Proximity may appear before competitors get their HPCS systems out in 2010.

Proxmity uses capacitive coupling to link chips arranged in a checkerboard-like module at speeds of as little as 2 nanosceonds. The big hurdle right now is finding an accurate yet low cost way to align the capacitive pads on the chips so the interconnect can hit its promised speed, Mitchell said.

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