Intel’s new Ivy Bridge line of processors is the first to include features at 22 nanometers. Other chips offer feature as small as 32 nanometers, and Intel’s new processors allow transistors on the chips to be more densely arranged. The new chips, while smaller, provide greater speed and efficiency than previous chips, marking a new advance in the technology.
With more space for transistors, Moore’s Law, which dictates that the number of transistors used on a chip doubles every two years, will continue. The new chips feature 1.4 billion densely packed transistors on the 160 square millimeter die. To accommodate the added transistors, a redesign of the transistor was necessary.
The new design was described in an article on MIT’s Technology Review. One more dimension was added to the transistor. While in the past the transistor was made of several flat layers. In Intel’s new design, channel layer of the transistor sticks into the gate layer above it. The new design was dubbed the ‘tri-gate’ design by the company.
This allowed the company to create the chip with more transistors to continue Moore’s Law, and new developments at Intel promise to keep the law going into the future. According to the article, which quotes Intel’s Mark Bohr, the company is exploring manufacture of another version of the three-dimensional transistor using features of only 14 nanometers. The new technology is expected to go to production in 2014.
As new technology emerges promising faster, more efficient chips, users in Usenet newsgroups will continue to break it down and review it. The forum has been a hotbed for technology discussion since its inception before the World Wide Web, and continues to serve as a meeting place for technology enthusiasts and professionals around the globe.