Intel's Transistor Technology Breakthrough
28/01/07@13:13 by Matt - 248 words
Categories: Science & Technology
In one of the biggest advancements in fundamental transistor design, Intel Corporation today revealed that it is using two dramatically new materials to build the insulating walls and switching gates of its 45 nanometer transistors. Hundreds of millions of these microscopic transistors -- or switches -- will be inside the next generation Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad and Xeon families of multi-core processors. The company also said it has five early-version products up and running -- the first of fifteen 45nm processor products planned from Intel.
The transistor feat allows the company to continue delivering record-breaking PC, laptop and server processor speeds, while reducing the amount of electrical leakage from transistors that can hamper chip and PC design, size, power consumption, noise and costs. It also ensures Moore's Law, a high-tech industry axiom that transistor counts double about every two years, thrives well into the next decade.
Silicon dioxide has been used to make the transistor gate dielectric for more than 40 years because of its manufacturability and ability to deliver continued transistor performance improvements as it has been made ever thinner. Intel has successfully shrunk the silicon dioxide gate dielectric to as little as 1.2nm thick -- equal to five atomic layers -- on our previous 65nm process technology, but the continued shrinking has led to increased current leakage through the gate dielectric, resulting in wasted electric current and unnecessary heat.