Thursday, May 05, 2011

Intel: tri-gate 3D transistors within a year

Intel Sandy Bridge microprocessors are already being sold. However, Intel just announced something much more shocking, namely Ivy Bridge microprocessors that will use 3-dimensional tri-gate transistors (Google News).

The 2-dimensional transistor is illustrated on the left picture, the 3-dimensional one is on the right.

Intel's main competitor, AMD, has responded in a somewhat tragicomic fashion. They essentially said that no one will need to buy an excessively new technology that will increase performance by 37% and reduce power consumption by 50% (which may naturally double battery life, and so on) because everyone has the freedom to buy obsolete technology that sucks. ;-)

Intel will gradually switch from the 22 nm technology to the 14 nm technology by the end of 2012, I guess. I am not sure whether the percentage figures above refer to the improvement including the jump to 14 nm or not.

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