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Re: 767 MHz Alpha, opinion_mode_enabled (fwd)

At 9:37 AM -0700 9/17/97, Ray Arachelian wrote:
>I 'spose it's gettin' to be time that we ditched them 512 bit keys and
>them 40 bit keys. :)  The very existance of a 2.6GHz CPU - yes freon
>cooled is more than enough...

As Ray knows, processors are getting more powerful at a very slow rate.
Mere doublings and triplings in speed are what we're seeing in the newer
generations of processors. (And these require multibillion dollar wafer
fabs to build.)

A 400 MHz Pentium II, or a 767 MHz Alpha, or whatever, is significant for a
lot of business applications--faster transaction processing, better video
processing, etc.--but it ain't meaningful for breaking ciphers.

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 11:08:40 -0500
>From: "Kirk R. Erichsen" <[email protected]>
>Reply-To: [email protected]
>To: [email protected]
>Subject: Re: 767 MHz Alpha, opinion_mode_enabled
>According to trade reports, the 21264 will be available at 800MHz by mid 98
>but the die size (a .25 micron die) will need a signficant shrink to make
>the speed practical (heat and power consumption will be monsterous).  It
>will need a die shrink to a .15 or .18 process in order for 800MHz + Alpha
>CPUs to be inexpensive enough to produce in volume. A smaller die size

I predict DEC will eventually shift from the Alpha, despite its nice
architecture, to the Intel line of processors. Many of us believe the DEC
lawsuit, and Intel's countersuit, are negotiating cards in DEC getting a
better bargaining position.

>increases the number of chips that are "good" per waffer and decreases the
>finished chips power consumption and heat dissipation.  Other methods for
>dealing with CPU speed (which don't address power or heat directly) include
>using CMOS alternatives like BiCMOS and Gallium Arsenide.  Gallium Arsenide
>is very expensive, and the element Gallium is a rare earth element, so high
>production using it is not possible.

This is pure bullshit. The "rarity" of a so-called rare earths material has
nothing to do with the economics of production. GaAs is available. What is
important is that the overall knowledge about silicon production is so much
better, from a production standpoint. And that at small geometries the
distinction  between Si and GaAs tends to vanish.

No comment on the rest of the article, which is just speculation about
x-ray, nanotech, etc.

--Tim May

The Feds have shown their hand: they want a ban on domestic cryptography
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."