New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design

Princeton University researchers have developed a new computer chip that promises to boost the performance of data centers that lie at the core of numerous online services such as email and social media. The chip — called “Piton” after the metal spikes driven by rock climbers into mountainsides to aid in their ascent — was presented Aug. 23 at Hot Chips, a symposium on high-performance chips held in Cupertino, California. Data centers — essentially giant warehouses packed with computer servers — support cloud-based services such as Gmail and Facebook, as well as store the staggeringly voluminous content available via the internet. Yet the computer chips at the heart of the biggest servers that route and process information often differ little from the chips in smaller servers or everyday personal computers.”