North American Network Operators Group

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RE: Silicon-germanium routers?

  • From: Tony Li
  • Date: Wed Jun 21 02:13:05 2006

> > I also suspsect that the community is not ready to transition to
> > liquid-cooled systems.
> I rather assumed 'at room temperature' implied a standard heat sink
> and fan.
> Perhaps there's not enough information in that article to draw a
> conclusion from.

There are a few bits that folks should understand: first, SiGe has been
around for awhile.  It's not new.  It's used when higher frequencies are
necessary, such as when building a 40Ghz modulator for an OC-768c

SiGe is more expensive, less thermally efficient, and less dense than
'standard' CMOS.  So it's already headed the wrong way for most of our

Second, you should know that there are lots of folks who really are
experimenting with a single transistor.  This may sound ludicrous, but
the thought here is that process improvements will eventually scale.

Thus, the conclusion that I'm leaping to is that this room temperature
transistor at 350GHz really is at room temp, but may require something
like a muffin fan all by itself.  Obviously to scale that to a few
hundred million transistors in a router, you then need a few hundred
million little fans.  ;-)

The breakthrough that we're looking for is a high speed, high density,
low power transistor that can be commercially scaled with good yield.
Not there quite yet.