Visual representation of silicon model used in the study

Supercomputer speeds understanding of new chip material –

Computer simulations developed by IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory have cast light on the proposed use of hafnium dioxide in computer chips – a development that is expected to help increase chip density and performance.

The scientists modelled the behaviour of hafnium silicates at the molecular level, and even though each model represented no more than 600 atoms, it took “only five days of computing time” on the company’s Blue Gene/L 4096-processor supercomputer.

To give an indication of Blue Gene’s processing power, it would take the most powerful laptop computer 700 years to carry out the 200 billion billion calculations needed for the 50 different models developed by the researchers.

  1. TJGeezer says:

    Only five days on a 4096-processor supercomputer? Oh, well, that’s trivial then.

    The pic looks at first glance like a pattern you could paint in Photoshop but on a closer look, it’s not symmetrical so it’s not purely repetitive, I guess. Even so, 200 billion billion calculations to map out 50×600 molecules? Good lord. Why? Any physicists, mathematicians or materials scientists here with a knack for explaining this kind of thing to lesser mortals?

  2. Angel H. Wong says:

    Let’s hope that all the amazing discoveries done by IBM researchers won’t end up in a dead end thanks to greedy administrators/lawyers.

  3. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    #2 – Angel H. Wong

    “Let’s hope that all the amazing discoveries done by IBM researchers won’t end up in a dead end thanks to greedy administrators/lawyers.”

    IBM Research has been doing bleeding-edge science for decades. But at the end of the day, when the reports are turned in to the bean-counters and paper-pushers, the results all too often continue the tradition of the PCjr…

    #3 – Brucemlloyd

    “Oddly enough this machine is the minimum requirement for Microsoft Vista.”

    Oops. Looks like it’s off the “Designed for Vista” list – it uses PowerPC processors. (like my Macs – In yo’ face, pedro!! Hah!! 🙂 )


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