If you want to make processors 1,000 times faster, you’re going to need some serious technology, right? That would be the conventional wisdom. But 3M and IBM have unlocked a secret low-tech shortcut.
The companies found a much simpler way to hit that elusive goal — not by creating some spectacular new circuitry or using exotic quantum mechanics, but with the invention of a new variety of a mundane substance: glue.
This is not just any glue. It’s an adhesive that dissipates heat so efficiently that layer upon layer of chips can be stacked on top of each other into silicon “towers” up to 100 layers high, glued together with this special adhesive that keeps things cool. The result? Faster chips for computers, laptops, smartphones and anything else that uses microprocessors.
With IBM supplying its microprocessor and silicon expertise and 3M contributing its super-cool adhesive, the two companies aim to stack together processors, memory chips and networks into monster “skyscrapers” of silicon they say will be 1,000 times faster than today’s fastest processor.