Intel Announces Milestone In Shrinking Chips - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Hardware & Infrastructure

Intel Announces Milestone In Shrinking Chips

The chipmaker says it has created a fully functional memory chip that's about 30% smaller than today's state-of-the-art chips.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Contradicting fears that the semiconductor industry's pace of development is slowing, Intel Corp. announced it has achieved a milestone in shrinking the size of transistors that will power its next-generation chips.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said Monday it has created a fully functional 70-megabit memory chip with transistor switches measuring just 35 nanometers--about 30 percent smaller than those found on today's state-of-the-art chips.

By shrinking the size of the transistors and other features etched into the silicon, more of the tiny devices can be squeezed onto a single chip. As a result, microprocessors become more powerful and memory chips can store more data without growing in size.

"Intel continues to meet the increasing challenges of scaling by innovating with new materials, processes and device structures," said Sunlin Chou, general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group.

Intel said products built with its 65-nanometer process technology--a label that describes the average size of the minuscule chip features--are on track for delivery in 2005.

If so, it would be in keeping with a famous forecast by Intel founder Gordon Moore, who in the late 1960s predicted the number of transistors on a chip would roughly double every two years. "Moore's Law," as the prediction, is now known, has held true since then.

Intel and other semiconductor companies have thrived on the ability to pack more performance into their chips. But with each generation, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the pace as the tinier and tinier transistors test the physical limits of silicon.

"As we scale to smaller dimensions, our job gets tougher," said Mark Bohr, an Intel senior fellow.

In fact, chips built with the current 90-nanometer process technology saw several delays from many chip manufacturers as they struggled with issues such as heat and power dissipation.

For its next-generation chips, Intel said it incorporated new materials and other technologies to work around the problems.

The company also developed so-called sleep transistors that shut off the electrical current to areas of a chip that aren't being used. As a result, power consumption drops--something that will decrease heat generation and help battery-powered devices last longer between charges.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll