electro-Physics: 3.3 volts

From: Joe R. <rigdonj_at_cfl.rr.com>
Date: Thu Dec 9 20:51:02 2004

At 09:30 PM 12/9/04 -0500, you wrote:
>Today I started mothballing the VAX 6000 and noticed that a large part
>of its power supply is on 3.3 volts, now common, but probably not in 1988.
>Seems like something was invented, probably in chip design that made
>3.3 so useful. I wonder what that was, when that landmark was reached.

   It wasn't a new invention. In was the fact that ICs were getting so
dense that they couldn't squeeze in any more circuits unless they could
reduce the space that the insualting layers took up. The layers were
already so thin that they'd break down at about 5 1/2 volt so they had to
reduce the voltage to 3.3 volts. Since then they've further reduced it to
1.8 volts and (I think) now to 1.1 volts. And there are plans to reduce it
even more. All so that they can reduce the bulk of the insulating layers
and add more gates.

Received on Thu Dec 09 2004 - 20:51:02 GMT

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