1 Terahertz Chip Has Been Born!

DARPA the US military R&D has been awarded the Guinness World Record for creating the world’s SS (Solid State) fastest chip, clocking in at 1 Terahertz. (1000 Giga Hertz)

With the previous record holder being around the 850Ghz this chip kicks it right off the shelf with the extra 150Gigaherz!

Machines that operate at this range have some interesting and powerful uses if applied to commercial market, as any techie will know, having a CPU running at 1terahertz would be able to process a thousand times more data, a thousand times faster!

DARPA has had its eyes on this chip for a long time now, not for superfast PC’s youll be sad to hear, (although they are investigating this) but instead creating radios waves that work in the sub-millimeter terahertz range. These would be called T-rays and they would be used for supercharging radar, to image reconnaissance and even ultra-fast wired and wireless networks.

This all comes down to the wavelength of the T-ray, as they are so short, being less than a millimeter they can provide a much higher resolution picture of an environment, as they can detect even smaller changes due to this size. Compared to the normal radar with will use around 100 meters to a few cm, having this even smaller only increases its accuracy!

The density of this wave allows it to carry massive amounts of data, with the ability to safely phase though organic objects, pointing out some of the smallest features on a person if designed as a scanner, as you can probably tell having this in an airport would be a very useful thing indeed.

Below is a topographic view of the chip infrastructure, it is a picture of the solid state terahertz amplifier:

amplifier chip


As you can probably guess this all comes at a cost, as fabricating a chip that can switch 1 trillion times a second isn’t exactly easy, it appears that the main breakthrough here is DARPAs working with the Northrop Grumann have constructed this 10 stage monolithic amplifier using a fairly standard CMOS process.

The exact details of this are obviously confidential, however what I can tell you is that the chip is made from indium phosphate (InP) which is capable of switching at much high frequencies (also using more power) and your conventional semiconductor such as silicon or gallium arsenide.

Below is a picture of the trophy DARA received from the Guinness world records!

Official PR image for DARPA’s World Record 1THz chip. Yup.



The chip has been reportedly found with having extremely good properties with gains of 9dB at the 1THz and 10dB at the 1.03THz.

“Gains of six decibels or more start to move this research from the laboratory bench to practical applications — nine decibels of gain is unheard of at terahertz frequencies” says Dev Palmer, DARPA’s THz Electronics program manager. “This opens up new possibilities for building terahertz radio circuits.”

This solid state amplifier is just one piece of the puzzle for THz clocks and to use these as data transmitters and receivers, we don’t think they are that far advanced yet..

But still the creation of the transistor switching at 1000Ghz is an incredible feat, and really exciting as I can imagine intel wanting to eat this alive once it becomes more stable for GPCPU or GPU  (General purpose CPUs or graphics processing units).

However I hope that in the future we will have more power plants as these chips littlery eat power for breakfast as the power dissipation would be insane, that not even taking into account the cooling required!

Overall this is a massive leap in hardware, and I can imagine one day (Hopefully) you may be able to pick one of these up from your local shopping mall!

Have a great day guys!



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