The July 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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THE INSTITUTE Every year on 14 October the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) joins the international community in celebrating the importance of standards development and honoring the collaboration of individuals and organizations across the globe that drive technological innovation.

This year’s World Standards Day theme is “Raising the World’s Standards for the Protection of the Planet.” During the past century, large-scale industrial activities, rapid population growth, urbanization, and inequality have negatively impacted the Earth, our lives, and the well-being of future generations. The concept of sustainable development has become more important. Global standards play a key role in supporting the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of our planet and human society.

IEEE SA has several standards and projects—as well as communities and resources—working on sustainable development.

IEEE SA is conducting a video contest, seeking entries that answer the question: How do standards protect the planet? All formats will be considered, including self-recorded and animated works, documentaries, and music videos.

Each video must be online and include a reference to an IEEE standard and its relevance to the theme. It must be original content, run between 15 and 60 seconds in length, be in English or include English subtitles, and include the URL where the video may be found.

Other eligibility requirements and contest rules can be found here.

Up to three videos will be selected, and each winner will receive a US $500 prize. The deadline is 15 September 2020.

Submit your video today.

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The First Million-Transistor Chip: the Engineers’ Story

Intel’s i860 RISC chip was a graphics powerhouse

21 min read
Twenty people crowd into a cubicle, the man in the center seated holding a silicon wafer full of chips

Intel's million-transistor chip development team

In San Francisco on Feb. 27, 1989, Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., startled the world of high technology by presenting the first ever 1-million-transistor microprocessor, which was also the company’s first such chip to use a reduced instruction set.

The number of transistors alone marks a huge leap upward: Intel’s previous microprocessor, the 80386, has only 275,000 of them. But this long-deferred move into the booming market in reduced-instruction-set computing (RISC) was more of a shock, in part because it broke with Intel’s tradition of compatibility with earlier processors—and not least because after three well-guarded years in development the chip came as a complete surprise. Now designated the i860, it entered development in 1986 about the same time as the 80486, the yet-to-be-introduced successor to Intel’s highly regarded 80286 and 80386. The two chips have about the same area and use the same 1-micrometer CMOS technology then under development at the company’s systems production and manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Ore. But with the i860, then code-named the N10, the company planned a revolution.

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