Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Speed of Computer

Ever wondered how much speed your computer is running or What does the clock speed signify or Why your processor is that much small ?

It's time to clear your brain.

The speed of light is 3*10^8 meters/sec. If you convert it to centimeters, it will be 3*10^10. Let's see how much distance it can travel in a nano second. It will be 3*10^10*10^-9, which will be  30 Cm.

Now if the processor speed of your computer is 2.7 GHZ, it tells us that it can execute 2.7 Billion cycles per second; which inturn implies that a cycle takes (1/2.7)*(1/10^9) seconds to complete. To make it look in terms of distance travelled by light, we already have 30 Cm, the distance that the light travels in (1/10^9) seconds or a nano second. Now, if we multiply it with (1/2.7) to see how much light can travel in the time the processor completes one cycle, we get 11.11 Cm.

So, as the processor completes one cycle, the light would have journeyed 11 Cm. In an other way, as the light travels 11 Cm, the processor would have completed one instruction or a part of that instruction (a cycle). Hence, processors are made small to accommodate high speed. So the next time some Physics guy speaks about the greatness of light over computers, make sure to brain wash him with this information.

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