Intel's Tri-Gate Transistor To Enable Next Era In Energy-Efficient Performance
Subject: Processors | June 16, 2006 - 07:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 12, 2006 — Intel Corporation researchers today disclosed they have developed new technology designed to further extend the company's leadership in energy-efficient performance. Intel's research and development involving new types of transistors has resulted in further development of a tri-gate (3-D) transistor for high-volume manufacturing. Since these transistors greatly improve performance and energy efficiency Intel expects tri-gate technology could become the basic building block for future microprocessors sometime beyond the 45nm process technology node.
Planar (or flat) transistors were conceived in the late 1950s and have been the basic building block of chips since the dawn of the semiconductor industry. As semiconductor technology moves deeper into the realm of nanotechnology (dimensions smaller than 100nm), where some transistor features may consist of only a few layers of atoms, what was previously thought of as 'flat' is now being designed in three dimensions for improved performance and power characteristics. Intel, leading the industry in producing high volumes of ever smaller chip geometries, has created a way to use these three-dimensional, or tri-gate, transistors in concert with other key semiconductor technologies to enable a new era of energy-efficient performance.