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Intel Reinvents Transistors Using New 3-D Structure

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, May 4, 2011.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    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.

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    "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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  2. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    Look like AMD bulldozer is going to have some real competition !
    SWEEEEEEEEEEEET News !
     
  3. douglatins

    douglatins

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    When can I buy this?
     
  4. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    There next CPU that is coming out should have them . Ivy bridge .
     
  5. DannibusX

    DannibusX

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    Next year probably.
     
  6. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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  7. cheesy999

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    i can't wait that long:banghead:
     
  8. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    Well get the bulldozer ! :laugh:
     
  9. devguy

    devguy

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    Cool video. This is still quite different than what I remember reading a few years ago about companies trying to build a 3D die rather than the planar ones we have now. While that would be amazing, and could exponentially increase the number of transistors allowed, cooling such a thing would be the problem.

    Either way, this is a neat breakthrough, and I'm surprised to see it'll already be put into effect on Ivy Bridge. Should make for some impressive power consumption benefits over Sandy Bridge with similar (if not better) performance!
     
  10. cheesy999

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  11. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    This is pretty cool, and pretty soon too. I wonder how it will affect the industry though, as this is an Intel piece of work. Will others be able to license it/use it or would they have to do it some other ways if they want in on it? There are other methods for doing it, but how far have they come?
     
  12. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The way things are looking, Intel's current lineup will be competing with Bulldozer.
     
  13. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    But don't you think with this advantage in computing power it will be a landslide for Intel ? I mean a 3D transistor ! This is a true break through .
     
  14. cheesy999

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    well considering i've heard rumors bulldozer struggles to beat sandy bridge thats not all good news

    also:bring back spock or kitt
     
  15. 20mmrain

    20mmrain

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    Well cya later AMD.... Like I said before Intel is not the Microsoft of the Computing world. Cheaper to make sure.... but prices will now sore in terms of no competition.

    But really cool tech though.... that will be awesome to be able to overclock a CPU to 5 or 6 ghz on air hit only 45c/50c and and also be only drawing 80 watts.

    This should definitely be fun... as long as they don't take the OC option away in the future.

    Of course I am totally making up numbers here.... but it's were my head first goes.
     
  16. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Isn't that kind of what I just said?
     
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  17. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    WOW this indeed is a crushing blow for AMD then . May even put them out for another 5 years or MORE ! WOW I know what I am sticking with . Intel FTW :rockout::respect:
     
  18. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    Yeah I was reading it wrong till now . :twitch:
     
  19. digibucc

    digibucc

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    yes - do i have to explain everything to you?
    if the current gen competes with bulldozer, then ivy bridge should be leagues ahead.

    now do you understand what you said?
     
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  20. 20mmrain

    20mmrain

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    I would agree as long as they don't rape you for the cost. I mean their hole point is to make it more efficient and cheaper! If it's cheaper then it should cost an arm and a leg either.

    Also as long as they don't try to play god with it and take all the fun out of messing with this technology. Example lock the multiplier too.
     
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  21. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    Yes I get it now :twitch:
    Man AMD is sure in a world of hurt ! :cry: All the AMD heads out there are :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry: there eyes out .
     
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  22. digibucc

    digibucc

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    im sorry... i can't resist sometimes ;)

    shut your mouth ! , my main is i7 but i still have amds :)

    i do agree though, unless they have just been quiet and are almost ready for their own, this will change things. especially if intel can at least not be tons more expensive than they already are. and by that i just mean most buyers will still choose the cheaper one, unless it's crazy technology for not that much more...
     
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  23. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    I guess I was being a bit over the top . I will shut my mouth now . :respect:
     
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  24. sy5tem

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    well intel invented something all over again . so when AMD did that? i can't remember :p

    finally something really exciting and new :) can't wait to see what will come up from this,

    also i wonder can they just build like more bridge on same transistor? like 2 bridge that have control over 3 flow of current each? hehe that would be 9x 1 transistor!
     
  25. HalfAHertz

    HalfAHertz

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    When I heard 3d i thought they were stacking the transistors on top of each other but what they're planning to do also sounds awesome. Give me my 10 Jugahurtz CPU nau Intel! :D
     

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