Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Intel Develops 3-D Tri-Gate transistors in 22nm

In what it calls a major technical breakthrough and historic innovation likely to drive Moore's Law for years to come, Intel unveiled its first 3-D transistors, called Tri-Gate, in a production device. The 22nm microprocessor – codenamed "Ivy Bridge" – will be the first high-volume chip to use 3-D Tri-Gate transistors.

The three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistor technology, which Intel first described in 2002, represent a fundamental departure from the two-dimensional planar transistor structure that has powered not only all computers, mobile phones and consumer electronics to-date, but all other electronic controls.

The 3-D chips to operate at lower voltage with lower leakage. Intel said these advantages provide an unprecedented combination of improved performance and energy efficiency compared to previous state-of-the-art transistors. The company calculates that the new 22nm 3-D Tri-Gate transistors provide up to 37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm planar transistors. Applications could include small handheld devices, which operate using less energy to "switch" back and forth. Alternatively, the new transistors consume less than half the power when at the same performance as 2-D planar transistors on 32nm chips.

"Ivy Bridge" has now been demonstrated working in a laptop, server and desktop computer. Ivy Bridge-based Intel® Core™ family processors will be the first high-volume chips to use 3-D Tri-Gate transistors, with volume production slated for later this year.

"The performance gains and power savings of Intel's unique 3-D Tri-Gate transistors are like nothing we've seen before," said Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow. "This milestone is going further than simply keeping up with Moore's Law. The low-voltage and low-power benefits far exceed what we typically see from one process generation to the next. It will give product designers the flexibility to make current devices smarter and wholly new ones possible. We believe this breakthrough will extend Intel's lead even further over the rest of the semiconductor industry.http://www.intel.com

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