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Intel Goes 3D With New Transistor Tech.

New York – Intel today unveiled
its new 22nm 3D Tri-Gate transistor it said will greatly increase speed and
lower power usage on all upcoming Intel processors and eventually help Intel have a stronger presence in the mobile market.

The new processors, code
named Ivy Bridge, will be in full production by the end of this year and in
products by 2012. Despite the name, the technology does not have anything to do
directly with improving 3D video or gaming performance.

The first devices to
receive the new technology will be thin clients and servers, followed at an
unspecified date by consumer products. These will include PCs, laptops,
smartphones and tablet PCs.

The 3D architecture will
be used across Intel’s entire processor portfolio including in Atom processors.
Intel will not use the current Planar technology on the 22nm level, company
executives said.

The technology has been
under development for 10 years, said Mark Bohr, a Senior Fellow at Intel. The
new technology will allow chips to continue to follow Moore’s Law, which states
the number of transistors on a chip will double every two years. Bohr said
this  was becoming difficult using the
older 32nm Planar transistor technology.

The new technology gets
its name from the addition of a small fin that sits on top of the transistor
that creates an additional electronic gate on the transistor. This forces the
electric current to leave the transistor’s surface and go up and over and then
back onto the surface. By doing so the transistors are 37 percent faster on low
voltage systems and use 50 percent less power.

In addition, the
architecture change will allow Intel to double the number of transistors that
will fit on a single processor, compared to its current 32nm technology, said
Bohr. 3D will also be scaleable to Intel’s upcoming 14nm architecture, but no
further information was revealed.

Dadi Perlmutter, Intel’s
executive VP, said 3D transistors will help keep Intel competitive in its
traditional processor markets, and allow it to better compete in the smartphone
and tablet space where it has only a small presence.

Perlmutter said, he
expects Atom processor with 3D transistors to compete strongly with ARM’s
mobile processor offerings, but he did not have any benchmark data to compare
the two.