How Fast Will Computers Get?

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What's the fastest speed imaginable for your computer's microprocessor? With the Intel Pentium 4 chip already released in some computers, the amount of speed is faster than most anyone ever thought.

Still, that's not fast enough, and scientists at Intel are working to make that speed even faster - as much as 10 times more powerful within the next 10 years.

Intel is working on making the world's smallest, fastest transistor, the component of the PC that function like switches, controlling how the data flows within the computer.

The new Pentium 4, for comparison, puts 42 million transistors onto a sliver of silicon. The latest chips under development could put as many as 400 million or more transistors onto the same sliver.

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