The New Look of IEEE Spectrum

We've redesigned the whole site to make it easier to find what you're looking for

1 min read

As you've likely noticed by now, IEEE Spectrum has a new look. But the differences are more than cosmetic; we've also overhauled the content management system, which will make it easier for us to provide dynamic content throughout the site.

We've also tried to make it easier to discover new stories no matter where you are on the site. Let's say you're reading an article about whether it makes sense to send humans back to the moon. To the right of the article, you have access to the most popular content on the site that week, a few stories handpicked by our editors, and additional related content. We're even working on automatically linking to related content in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library (there are still some kinks, but we'll get it straightened out soon).

Which reminds me: please be patient as we continue to improve and fix glitches (those of you using Internet Explorer 6, I apologize for the layout problems plaguing that browser).

In the meantime, take a look around and explore the site. There are lots of changes.

We'd love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave your impressions and comments in the form below.

The Conversation (0)

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.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":[]}