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Old Jan 27th 2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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Question How many calculations can this processor perform in a second?

The semiconductor chip at the heart of a personal computer is a square 4 mm on a side and contains 10^9 electronic components.

If each component is a square, what is the distance across each component? (this part was easy... it was 1 x 10^-4 mm)

If a calculation requires that electrical impulses traverse 10^4 elements on the chip, each a million times, how many such calculations can the computer perform each second? The maximum speed of an electrical impulse is close to the speed of light, 3 x 10^8 m/s

The second part of the question is what has me confused. I've submitted the answers 3 x 10^11 and 3 x 10^15, both of which are wrong.

Any ideas on this?



My attempted solution was as follows:

c = 3 x 10^8 m/s

(3 x 10^8 m)/(s) x (1)/(1 x 10^-7 m) = 3 x 10^15 Hz

Sadly I only have 1 attempt left to submit the correct answer. It's an all-or-nothing point system.

Thanks in advance
ianharwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 31st 2010, 10:22 AM   #2
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Can't believe I figured it out!

Assuming you've already solved Part A, you should already know that each component measures 110^-4 mm.

(110−4 mm) (110^4 components) = 1
1 1,000,000 times = 110^6 mm

Now we know the total distance the electrical impulses have to go is 110^6 mm.

We will then use Conversion Factors to find out answer:

(1.0calcs)/(1.010^6mm) (3.010^8m)/(1.0sec) (1000mm)/(1.0m)

The answer you are left with is:
310^5 calculations/second


~pwnage
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