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Silicon CPU's - RIP A.D. 1970 to A.D. 2008 38 years

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Senior member
Jan 23, 2007
463
15
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Lately, I've been reading a lot about how Intel, IBM and now AMD have all confirmed that their processors will be made of hafnium within the next year. Intel will begin doing so late in the third quarter of this year, and AMD expects to be doing so by mid 2008.

Evidently, hafnium allows them to produce processors with less electrical "leakage", meaning faster CPU's with more circuits in them, and less overheating. Intel expects to bring a 4 GHz hafnium cpu to market later this year, and is currently producting test batches of them.

So, it is no longer a guess as to whether they will switch over from silicon - it is a done deal. Demand for hafnium should increase greatly over the next 18 months, as manufacturers such as Intel, IBM, AMD and others start switching their fabrication lines over to take advantage of the new material.

Hafnium comes from zirconium ore. Zirconium ore is composed of about 50 parts zirconium to 1 part hafnium. Hafnium usually costs between $200 to $500 per pound, depending on purity.

Anyway, I found myself wondering if it might be prudent to invest in a zirconium mine or hafnium extraction company now, in order to benefit from the increased demand (and thus, higher price for) for hafnium over the next couple of years.

What do you guys think? Stupid idea? Good idea?
 

TheoPetro

Banned
Nov 30, 2004
3,500
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hehe remember "good idea....bad idea" I think it was from action legue now or something like that on nicolodian. Thats what it reminded me of.
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
7,416
393
126
Whoa, hold your horses. Only the dielectric and gate terminal materials are being replaced. Bulk silicon processes won't go away just yet because of how economical they are. You still need doped (or undoped as the case may be) poly-si for resistors and capacitors. ;)
 

MrPickins

Diamond Member
May 24, 2003
8,819
193
106
I wouldn't count on silicon being completely replaced for IC's. The technology is still the most cost effective for all but the high-end chips.

Only the minority of IC's shipped are PC CPU's.
 

StevenYoo

Diamond Member
Jul 4, 2001
8,636
0
0
Originally posted by: TheoPetro
hehe remember "good idea....bad idea" I think it was from action legue now or something like that on nicolodian. Thats what it reminded me of.
Good Idea Bad Idea was from Animaniacs
 

TheoPetro

Banned
Nov 30, 2004
3,500
0
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Originally posted by: StevenYoo
Originally posted by: TheoPetro
hehe remember "good idea....bad idea" I think it was from action legue now or something like that on nicolodian. Thats what it reminded me of.
Good Idea Bad Idea was from Animaniacs
ouch and that was on the WB! man I bet I forget my whole childhood by 30
 
Jun 19, 2004
10,861
1
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<PAB> "I just told all of the chip makers to switch from Silicone to Halfnium, I feel it's in their best interests. I'm flying out to close the deal tomorrow. In the meantime I suggest you all buy my super uber stock in Halfnium mining as I'm the oracle on all things." <\PAB>
 

GuitarDaddy

Lifer
Nov 9, 2004
11,466
1
0
Originally posted by: MisterJackson
<PAB> "I just told all of the chip makers to switch from Silicone to Halfnium, I feel it's in their best interests. I'm flying out to close the deal tomorrow. In the meantime I suggest you all buy my super uber stock in Halfnium mining as I'm the oracle on all things." <\PAB>

I'll have my people call PAB's people and we'll talk it out:)
 

Born2bwire

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2005
9,843
5
71
Originally posted by: TheoPetro
Originally posted by: StevenYoo
Originally posted by: TheoPetro
hehe remember "good idea....bad idea" I think it was from action legue now or something like that on nicolodian. Thats what it reminded me of.
Good Idea Bad Idea was from Animaniacs
ouch and that was on the WB! man I bet I forget my whole childhood by 30
It was on Fox originally and I think Nick was the last network to pick it up. They run it on their cartoon channel now I think.
 

Zolty

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2005
3,603
0
0
Originally posted by: GuitarDaddy
Originally posted by: MisterJackson
<PAB> "I just told all of the chip makers to switch from Silicone to Halfnium, I feel it's in their best interests. I'm flying out to close the deal tomorrow. In the meantime I suggest you all buy my super uber stock in Halfnium mining as I'm the oracle on all things." <\PAB>

I'll have my people call PAB's people and we'll talk it out:)
Is PAB driving the New Hafnium Mustang GTH
 

adhemp

Member
Feb 25, 2003
32
0
0
Yep, Si is going to be around for awhile. Halfnium alleviates some of the problems industry has run into with leakage problems from shrinking feature sizes. If you want to look at a possibility for replacing Si in the future (~20 years from now), graphene may be an option:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/18264/
 

zephyrprime

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,506
1
81
Originally posted by: WhoBeDaPlaya
Whoa, hold your horses. Only the dielectric and gate terminal materials are being replaced. Bulk silicon processes won't go away just yet because of how economical they are. You still need doped (or undoped as the case may be) poly-si for resistors and capacitors. ;)
 

nakedfrog

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
49,962
2,672
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Just wait 'til you see what speeds they can hit by making them out of unobtainium.
 

Gulzakar

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,074
0
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Wouldn't Hafnium replace Germanium or Copper rather than Silicon?

I thought the process involved doping Silicon with metal?
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
7,416
393
126
Originally posted by: Gulzakar
Wouldn't Hafnium replace Germanium or Copper rather than Silicon?
I thought the process involved doping Silicon with metal?
No. They're using hafnium as the gate dielectric and going back to the MOSFET's roots by using metal for the gate electrode instead of regular low-resistivity poly-Si.
 

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