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Comment: Re:amazing (Score 1) 279

by expatriot (#49119033) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

The original motivation for process shrink was getting more transistors in the same area, and secondarily to reduce power when leakage prevention measures were discovered.

There is not much advantage in going from 14 to 7 as the fabrication costs will be very high. Leakage will be a problem so finfets are required as a starting point.

The big challenges are cost in more precise machines, high energy ultraviolet which is harder to prevent side effects, triple or quad patterning that wastes a lot of area, and higher probabilities of fabrication errors ruining a circuit.

Even for 14, I think most of the cells are not at the density that the change from 28 to 14 would imply, and the copper circuits are oversize.

A lot of people are still making good money at greater than 100 because the masks, fabrication, and output being so cheap. There are a lot of chips that do not require a billion transistors and 2GHz.

Comment: Re:They don't work for me (Score 1) 464

by expatriot (#48720883) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

I have two pairs of progressive glasses: one for distance and reading (obvious compromise if reading a lot) and another for computer and book distance (no good for away from desk).

Works well, but I find the transition (?) from one pair to another sometimes a bit distracting. If for example I put on the distance ones and immediately get up from the desk.

The best overall solution (optically) was astigmatism corrected contacts (not progressive) and two different strengths of reading glasses, but it was too much hassle putting in the contacts and then putting on and taking off the glasses to read anything.

Comment: Re:been there, done that (Score 1) 280

by expatriot (#48615745) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

Technical writing is probably the best bet unless you are both very ambitious (to spend many many hours teaching yourself) and lucky (to get past HR).

One problem with technical writing is that, like management, it is usually a one-way street. If someone who is very technical leaves engineering it is almost impossible to get back into doing real engineering because the world moves on.

The exceptions, if you call it that, are that less technical generalists can sometimes thrive in project management or marketing.

Comment: Re:Commenting on signal not crossing chip (Score 1) 168

by expatriot (#47687959) Attached to: Processors and the Limits of Physics

Pipelining increases performance and instructions per cycle, but at the cost of power efficiency as branches cause a pipeline flush.

The problem is balancing area, performance, and performance.

There are obviously limits the the ability to make smaller circuits, even the ones described as 14nm are not really 14 in the same way 160 was 160. There is a lot of wasted space because of the LELE process and the need to minimise crosstalk and distortion.

The real limit however is not how much better X-ray exposure will shrink the size, but how much it costs to make circuits, 28nm is likely to be the most cost efficient size for some time to come. Many fabs are making chips in larger process sizes for fast turnaround and cheap masks.

Comment: Re: expansion of space and dark energy (Score 1) 358

by expatriot (#47166733) Attached to: The Disappearing Universe

Some theories for the end of the universe say that if the expansion of the universe keeps accelerating, eventually the expansion even between subatomic particles will be greater than the speed of light and everything will be ripped apart. This is long long after the skies are black because all objects and space have moved too far away.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 2) 493

by expatriot (#47119355) Attached to: Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

This is one of those topics that attracts loonies like flies to honey. Of course in the comments below, each side thinks the other side crazy too much control or too irresponsible.

For me, I think everyone should be vaccinated for common and dangerous diseases. The uncommon ones you can chose to or not (as when traveling). People don't remember polio and smallpox or brain-damage caused by measles.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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