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IBM looking at new way to pass data to processor


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IBM looking at new way to pass data to processor


You're going to hear a lot about Through-Silicon Vias, or "Zias" as IBM likes to call them, in the next few years.


With TSVs, the processor and memory are connected by a multitude of tiny wires that pass data back and forth. Collectively, the connections greatly increase bandwidth for passing data to the processor and hence boost overall performance of the chip and the computer.


Data in computers now mostly passes across overcrowded buses, or higher-speed connections like HyperTransport.


Intel's 80-core processor has TSVs, and, according to Intel CTO Justin Rattner, the TSVs are perhaps a more noteworthy accomplishment than the fact that the chip has 80 cores.


Sources at IBM mentioned in a hallway conversation at the International Solid State Circuits Conference that Big Blue is tinkering with the concept in the lab. The company isn't talking much about it now, but researchers at IBM say it's a fairly powerful idea.


IBM, though, calls them Zias.










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