Goodbye Gigahertz

AMD and Intel have recently turned away from advertising the clock speed of their microchips in mega- and gigahertz and are instead assigning model numbers. It has long been suggested by experts that a given microprocessor’s speed is a poor measure of actual performance. For example, AMD Athlon chips have slower speeds than their Intel Pentium 4 counterparts, but are equal to or better in performance on some benchmarks.

We are seeing the beginning of the end of the microprocessor as we know it today. The success of AMD and Intel, among other manufacturers, is not guaranteed as we transition into new technologies, but hiding behind model numbers is a logical way to keep the chaos hidden from the general lay person. Those of us in the know watch trends in nanotechnology, photonics, magnetic spin and quantum mechanics for the next paradigm in computing technology.

This means current leading companies of today are focusing on optimizing their chips, which I think is a great idea. There is still a lot more that current technology can do before we reach the next level in computing.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).