Ooh Lovely

 Allow me to Geek out for a brief moment…

Intel Penryn

So what is this? Landscape photgraphy? Some lego? No, silly, it’s a microchip die (the wafer of silicon before packinging into a chip). Yes, I know you already knew that, it’s bleeding obvious, innit?

This particular one is the Intel Penryn, a quad-core chip found in the latest Apple Pro. As the Apple has two of these things, that makes it an octo-core computer – great crikes!

The transistors in this thing are 45 nanometres across, which is quite small considering there are a billion nanometres in a metre. Not to mention the fact that a typical bacterium is 2000nm across and the usual benchmark, the human hair is 90,000nm. These transistors are 45nm.

And can switch on and off 300 billion times a second. (These stats from Intel)

Quite apart from the staggering feat of engineering they represent they look good too. I often find that suitably purposeful pieces of industrial design have a fascinating aesthetic quality to them. Anything from Watt’s steam engines to Babbage’s Difference Engine, and from Ive’s sublime designs for iPods to this exquisite example of Communist Architecture:


2 Responses to Ooh Lovely

  1. P. says:

    Who is the architect (the Brutalist-style, sculptural block on your blog)?

    • oliolioli says:

      I asked MIMOA (http://www.mimoa.eu), who then tweeted it to their membership, and in less than 30 mins we had the answer: it’s the Ministry of Transport in Tbliisi, Georgia. Their respondent adds, ‘Designed by architect George Chakhava, now bought by a bank, and left empty. The building was supposed to function as a wide Caucasian trees, now is being overgrown with the vegetation. Research project is planned here for 2010 ”

      I don’t quite follow the bit about Caucasian trees, but anyway..!

      Here’s a NY Times article that mentions it: Cosmic Communist Constructions, and the building’s Wikipedia entry.

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