Intel Crams 2 Billion Transistors Onto A Single Quad-Core Chip!

Dennis Faas's picture

Intel surpassed their own world record by managing to store 2 billion transistors onto a single "quad-core" chip. The former record was set at 1.7 billion transistors crammed onto a "super" Itanium chip. This means that one new "super-duper" chip would double the processing power of the chips used in most supercomputers. (Source:

The new chips are expected to be the crown jewel in an impressive line of other Itanium processors. The quad-core chips made their first public appearance at the recent International Solid State Circuits Conference held in San Francisco.

Intel made several other announcements at the conference, including a new low-power chip designed for mobile Internet devices, capable of operating at 2 gigahertz while consuming very little energy. The technology used in the low-power chips promises to improve wireless communications and make future memory chips faster and capable of storing high volumes of data. (Source: The new quad-core Itanium chips will have four processing engines; the current models are built with only two processing engines, hence the doubling in process power. Adding more processing engines to chips improves the overall performance of the computer, since it has the ability to balance multiple tasks at the same time.

The recent surge in popularity surrounding the new quad-core chips could not have come at a better time for Intel. The company has been the recipient of some harsh criticism stemming from previous Itanium products. While Itanium chips can be found in some of the world's most powerful supercomputers, the brand has still been considered a failure in terms of corporate expectations. In the 1990s, Intel promised the world that Itanium hardware would change the entire landscape of the computer industry, replacing those chips built on an x86 design.

The Itanium chips were met with a lackluster reception shortly after debuting, causing Intel to switch their focus away from the line and onto other products. This gave a small semiconductor company called Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) an opportunity to saturate the lucrative server market with what many considered far superior products. (Source:

The times have since changed and Intel has once again grabbed hold of top billing in terms of computer processing supremacy. If the spirit of competition is still alive and well, we can expect AMD to respond to the new Intel quad-core chips in the very near future.

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