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Monday, August 30, 2004

Intel Drives Moore's Law Forward with 65 Nanometer Process Technology

A significant milestone in developing next-generation chip manufacturing technology has been achieved by Intel Corporation. The company has built fully functional 70-megabit static random access memory (SRAM) chips with more than half a billion transistors using the world's most advanced 65 nanometer (nm) process technology. The achievement extends Intel's effort to drive the development of new manufacturing process technology every two years, in accordance with Moore's Law, claimed intel in a press release.The transistors in the new 65nm (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter) technology have gates (the switch that turns a transistor on and off) measuring 35nm, approximately 30 percent smaller than the gate lengths on the previous 90nm technology. For comparison, about 100 of these gates could fit inside the diameter of a human red blood cell.According to Moore's Law, the number of transistors on a chip roughly doubles every two years, resulting in more features, increased performance and decreased cost per transistor. As transistors get smaller, increased power and heat dissipation issues develop. As a result, implementing new features, techniques and structures is imperative to continuing this progress. Intel has addressed these challenges by integrating power-saving features into its 65nm process technology. These features are critical to delivering power-efficient computing and communication products in the future. Intel's leading strained silicon technology, first implemented in its 90nm process technology, is further enhanced in the 65nm technology. The second generation of Intel strained silicon increases transistor performance by 10 to 15 percent without increasing leakage. Conversely, these transistors can cut leakage by four times at constant performance compared to 90nm transistors. As a result, the transistors on Intel's 65nm process have improved performance without significant increase in leakage (greater electrical current leakage results in greater heat generation.
Om Malik pointed out this press release. This shall be counted as a good acheievement by Intel, so long as Intel adheres to the product rollout schedule-Intel has had serious schedule slip-ups in its product rollouts this year.More information about the new advancements are available here.
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