When it comes
to making advances in manufacturing technologies for semiconductors, we can always look to Intel to lead the way. Today is no exception as the Santa Clara, California-based
company announced today that it will incorporate 3D transistors into its upcoming 22nm microprocessors.
Intel says that its 3D transistor design, which it calls Tri-Gate, marks the first time that a three-dimensional structure has been incorporated into high-volume
production. Ivy Bridge will be the first recipient of Tri-Gate.
"Intel's scientists and engineers
have once again reinvented the transistor, this time utilizing the third dimension," said Intel President and CEO Paul
Otellini. "Amazing, world-shaping devices will be created from this capability as we advance Moore's Law into new realms."
on to describe 3D Tri-Gate as follows:
traditional "flat" two-dimensional planar gate is replaced with an incredibly thin three-dimensional silicon fin
that rises up vertically from the silicon substrate. Control of current is accomplished by implementing a gate on each of
the three sides of the fin – two on each side and one across the top -- rather than just one on top, as is the case
with the 2-D planar transistor. The additional control enables as much transistor current flowing as possible when the transistor
is in the "on" state (for performance), and as close to zero as possible when it is in the "off" state
(to minimize power), and enables the transistor to switch very quickly between the two states (again, for performance).
as skyscrapers let urban planners optimize available space by building upward, Intel's 3-D Tri-Gate transistor structure provides
a way to manage density. Since these fins are vertical in nature, transistors can be packed closer together, a critical component
to the technological and economic benefits of Moore's Law. For future generations, designers also have the ability to continue
growing the height of the fins to get even more performance and energy-efficiency gains.
will provide unprecedented levels of performance
and power savings according to Intel. The technology will allow processors to run at lower voltages while at the same time
limiting the amount of leakage current. In fact, Intel says that processors using 22nm Tri-Gate transistors offers up to a whopping 37 percent performance boost at low voltages.
higher performance at lower operating voltage will do wonders in Intel's never-ending quest to chase down low-power ARM chips with its Atom-based processors.
low-voltage and low-power benefits far exceed what we typically see from one process generation to the next," said Intel
Senior Fellow Mark Bohr. "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."
Bridge processors using Intel's 3D Tri-Gate technology will enter production later
this year. You can watch a YouTube clip on 3D Tri-Gate here at Clear-Cloud's Mega site.