Princeton University researchers have built a new computer chip that promises to boost performance of data centers that lie at the core of online services from email to social media. Data centers -- essentially giant warehouses packed with computer servers - enable cloud-based services, such as Gmail and Facebook, as well as store the staggeringly voluminous content available via the internet. Surprisingly, the computer chips at the hearts of the biggest servers that route and process information often differ little from the chips in smaller servers or everyday personal computers. By designing their chip specifically for massive computing systems, the researchers say they can substantially increase processing speed while slashing energy needs.
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