Wednesday, May 4th 2011

Intel Reinvents Transistors Using New 3-D Structure

Intel Corporation today announced a significant breakthrough in the evolution of the transistor, the microscopic building block of modern electronics. For the first time since the invention of silicon transistors over 50 years ago, transistors using a three-dimensional structure will be put into high-volume manufacturing. Intel will introduce a revolutionary 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate, first disclosed by Intel in 2002, into high-volume manufacturing at the 22-nanometer (nm) node in an Intel chip codenamed "Ivy Bridge." A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

The three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistors 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 also the electronic controls within cars, spacecraft, household appliances, medical devices and virtually thousands of other everyday devices for decades.

"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."

Scientists have long recognized the benefits of a 3-D structure for sustaining the pace of Moore's Law as device dimensions become so small that physical laws become barriers to advancement. The key to today's breakthrough is Intel's ability to deploy its novel 3-D Tri-Gate transistor design into high-volume manufacturing, ushering in the next era of Moore's Law and opening the door to a new generation of innovations across a broad spectrum of devices.

Moore's Law is a forecast for the pace of silicon technology development that states that roughly every 2 years transistor density will double, while increasing functionality and performance and decreasing costs. It has become the basic business model for the semiconductor industry for more than 40 years.

Unprecedented Power Savings and Performance Gains
Intel's 3-D Tri-Gate transistors enable chips to operate at lower voltage with lower leakage, providing an unprecedented combination of improved performance and energy efficiency compared to previous state-of-the-art transistors. The capabilities give chip designers the flexibility to choose transistors targeted for low power or high performance, depending on the application.

The 22nm 3-D Tri-Gate transistors provide up to 37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm planar transistors. This incredible gain means that they are ideal for use in 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.

"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."

Continuing the Pace of Innovation – Moore's Law
Transistors continue to get smaller, cheaper and more energy efficient in accordance with Moore's Law – named for Intel co-founder Gordon Moore. Because of this, Intel has been able to innovate and integrate, adding more features and computing cores to each chip, increasing performance, and decreasing manufacturing cost per transistor.

Sustaining the progress of Moore's Law becomes even more complex with the 22nm generation. Anticipating this, Intel research scientists in 2002 invented what they called a Tri-Gate transistor, named for the three sides of the gate. Today's announcement follows further years of development in Intel's highly coordinated research-development-manufacturing pipeline, and marks the implementation of this work for high-volume manufacturing.

The 3-D Tri-Gate transistors are a reinvention of the transistor. The 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).

Just 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.

"For years we have seen limits to how small transistors can get," said Moore. "This change in the basic structure is a truly revolutionary approach, and one that should allow Moore's Law, and the historic pace of innovation, to continue."

World's First Demonstration of 22nm 3-D Tri-Gate Transistors
The 3-D Tri-Gate transistor will be implemented in the company's upcoming manufacturing process, called the 22nm node, in reference to the size of individual transistor features. More than 6 million 22nm Tri-Gate transistors could fit in the period at the end of this sentence.

Today, Intel demonstrated the world's first 22nm microprocessor, codenamed "Ivy Bridge," 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. Ivy Bridge is slated for high-volume production readiness by the end of this year.



This silicon technology breakthrough will also aid in the delivery of more highly integrated Intel Atom processor-based products that scale the performance, functionality and software compatibility of Intel architecture while meeting the overall power, cost and size requirements for a range of market segment needs.
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106 Comments on Intel Reinvents Transistors Using New 3-D Structure

#1
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: trickson
Well then you better prey that AMD steps up the program . As it is they are doing really well in the core area just not as good in the other areas . The strong will prosper the weak will fade away into nothingness . It is a fact of life get over it . If they do sell them at a price no one can afford then they will be shooting themselves in the foot . This is not doomsday here just some great new tech to be given to the consumer . I love this it is just great !
I wont have to get over the high price of no competition. I already know what exclusive technology brings a company. Record profits. You will have the issue as you don't seem to understand the principle of supply and demand.
Posted on Reply
#2
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
by: TheMailMan78
I wont have to get over the high price of no competition. I already know what exclusive technology brings a company. Record profits. You will have the issue as you don't seem to understand the principle of supply and demand.
Yeah like I don't know how high gas prices are .? Doomsday is upon us all !
I can hardly wait to see these new resistor at work . I wounder how much cooler they will be , How much faster and just how this will play out for the CPU industry as a whole .
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#3
LAN_deRf_HA
Well it's no BDT but it's nice to see one of these pipe-dream techs finally applied to a real product.

I don't really imagine intel cpus breaking with the $1000/$600/$300 thing for the beef cakes. They might add in a $1500 again but I think they're rightly fond of those price points.
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#4
15th Warlock
by: stereotype
AMD has been working with IBM on similar tech for a few years as 22nm and beyond present a lot of technical difficulties impossible to overcome with current tech...
I remember IBM showcasing some cool (no pun intended) internal 3D water-cooled processors a few years ago, it was supposed to revolutionize the processor industry, as CPUs already reach core power densities higher than nuclear reactors :eek:

These processors had microscopic water pipes runing through them thus enabling the stacking of multiple transistors in a 3D space, boy wouldn't it be cool if that technology was available for use on these new Intel process? Boy, that would be the bee's knees I tell you :roll:
Posted on Reply
#5
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: TheMailMan78
Who's demonizing? I'm being realistic and not a blind lil fanboy. I just don't wanna see any tears when Intel is a monopoly again and you can't afford their top tier CPU's. Because their will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth. And oh I will laugh. I mean you have to be an idiot to think Intel will keep the same current price point if they have no competition.
I asked that earlier in the thread, are Intel the only ones with this stuff? There have been different solutions to multigate transistors that have also been in the works for quite some time. I'm interested to see how those fare. I mean it's not like Intel are the only ones that works on these things.
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#6
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
by: TheMailMan78
Who's demonizing? I'm being realistic and not a blind lil fanboy. I just don't wanna see any tears when Intel is a monopoly again and you can't afford their top tier CPU's. Because their will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth. And oh I will laugh. I mean you have to be an idiot to think Intel will keep the same current price point if they have no competition.
I don't get it, AMD will always be in the market, the top tier enthusiast market is only a tiny portion of what companies really care about. If Bulldozer can offer a good price for performance ratio, what makes you think Intel will be running a monopoly?, if Intel innovates what makes you think every other company will suddenly die off and be left behind?.

Looks like a great advancement in CPU manufacturing.:)
Posted on Reply
#7
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
by: CDdude55
I don't get it, AMD will always be in the market, the top tier enthusiast market is only a tiny portion of what companies really care about. If Bulldozer can offer a good price for performance ratio, what makes you think Intel will be running a monopoly?, if Intel innovates what makes you think every other company will suddenly die off and be left behind?.

Looks like a great advancement in CPU manufacturing.:)
Maybe he like to think of Intel as the Evil Chip Maker in the room and AMD as the Poor little man getting stomped on ? I do not know , I do think this is a great advancement for every one .
I hope .
Posted on Reply
#8
ensabrenoir
And the winner is.... Us!

Interesting to see how this plays out and its everyday impact. As far as the whole Intel vs Amd thing ... Extra large order of popcorn please!!! Its actually fun to watch the whole one up battle. Love intel cpu s love Amd gpus cant loose no matter who wins.:toast: Bring on the bulldozers, bridges, a.p. u.s and what ever. As long as there is a tpu....I'll work ,find burried treasure, collect cans and save to get the rest!
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#9
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Ivy Bridge just got a little more interesting...
Posted on Reply
#10
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
by: FordGT90Concept
Ivy Bridge just got a little more interesting...
More than a little for me . :eek::D
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#11
DannibusX
Sweet, new technology.

I just won't be able to use it for the next few years of Call of Duty releases and Source games. I don't benchmark so I'm happy where I'm at for now.
Posted on Reply
#12
AsRock
TPU addict
by: erocker
The way things are looking, Intel's current lineup will be competing with Bulldozer.
Really thinking more

The way things are looking, Intel's current lineup will be crushing Bulldozer
Posted on Reply
#13
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
by: AsRock
Really thinking more

The way things are looking, Intel's current lineup will be crushing Bulldozer
I think Intel should call them Killdozer LOL .
Posted on Reply
#14
Jonap_1st
every side had the pieces of its own,

AMD will never be one step a head from intel but they already had a place on low-mid range market.

CPU : intel 80% amd 20%
GPU : amd 50% nvidia 50%

i'm just make up that number (reality maybe not really far from there) but if someone still bitchying about who's the real winner or where's AMD CPU positions in the future. maybe they forgot AMD still had a profit from their Radeon's

for us its performance that matter, but for them it's all about profit.. :)

by the way, nice vids.
i think i'm in love with mark :p
Posted on Reply
#15
theJesus
by: Jonap_1st
by the way, nice vids.
i think i'm in love with mark :p
You wanna play with that shrink-ray, don't you? :p
Posted on Reply
#16
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: cheesy999
i can't wait that long:banghead:
Get Core i7-970 when it becomes sub-$400 soon.
Posted on Reply
#17
HalfAHertz
Something of notice is that Intel is opening up their 22nm factories to other manufacturers like ARM and Apple. The A5 will be produced by intel on 22nm. This is a first for Intel because they have always held off sharing their advanced production process before because they wanted to have a competitive edge. So this either means that: a)the new process costs way too much and they can't cover the costs by themselves ( most likely); b) They can't saturate the factories by themselves. (less likely); c) a combination of a) and b)
Posted on Reply
#18
bear jesus
When i read the title i honestly expected something much more complex or advanced than making the conductive part taller causing the gate to surround it more.

I'm sure it will be great and everything but i really thought this was to do with a way to be able to put transistors in a 3D circuit as in the current travels vertically through the chip as well as horizontally.... yes i know they say this is 3D but really everything on a silicone chip has always been 3D this is just a taller 3D so the current still just travels horizontally.

Just to be sure, I'm not saying anything bad about this new transistor, i just expected more from the title.
Posted on Reply
#19
mastrdrver
Notice the quote:

"......37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm......."

This 37% increase is only at low voltage. I.E. Atom will be a lot more efficient.

What it does not say: You get 37% performance increase with less volts.

Intel did not just figure out how to defy the laws of physics. I don't care how many times they talk about Moore's Law.
Posted on Reply
#20
chvostoskok
real invention ? NO

it just seems like an invention - but in fact it is not. ok, transistors shrunk and work 37% more effective, but -it was in fact the same in past generations. :confused: All is just nicely said. :cry:
Posted on Reply
#22
rem82
Global-foundries fab 8. (2012)

28nm & 20(-)nm perhaps ,14nm ??? for ΑΜD cpu, gpu & chip.

http://fab2construction.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izea72ojj3s
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/04/19/globalfoundries_fab_8_construction_tour

Do you believe that AMD will close? :)

AMD is the unique company that she has exclusively her own platform of claims !
CPU + MOBO CHIP + GPU

If up totoday the AMD had the units of production in the 45nm and 32nm ready the correct moment, intel would have big problem now.
Perhaps you can remember:
-First 64bit cpu
- SOI (IBM)
-First Native Dual core
-First NATIVE Quad core
-First modern designing cpu with L1, L2 & L3 cache
-First cpu with IMC ( integrated memory controler)
-First cpu with HyperTransport technology
-first 512bit gpu
-First dx10.1 gpu
-First dx11 gp
-Better Performance per Watt gpu
-Better multi gpu & (scaling crossfire X)
-First hybrid cross with on board IGP
-First Native sata III (south-bridge)
-First Native usb III (south-bridge)
Posted on Reply
#23
pantherx12
"Intel's 22nm 3D transistors provide up to a 37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm planar transistors."

Wait wait wait, that's like 7% more than the usual right?

naughty intel, making it seem like it's better than it is.

Not to say it won;t give them an advantage. But no where near as much as people think I'd wager. The tech may develop some more. But for now it's only slightly better than a change in fab size.
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#24
mastrdrver
Yea their power "improvement" numbers (from reading around) are less then 10% above what they would normally get from just moving to 22nm from 32nm. I think the real improvement comes at the low voltage (Atom) and low leakage end.
Posted on Reply
#25
Jonap_1st
by: theJesus
You wanna play with that shrink-ray, don't you? :p
if it could transformed into ray gun, then yes :toast:
Posted on Reply
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