Santa Clara, Calif. — Intel today unveiled a large cache of processors that for the first time eschew the use of silicon and instead are based on substance called hafnium.
The new material allows the 16 new processors to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly because due to the elimination of several dangerous metals like lead. Hafnium-based processors will be 25 percent smaller and be the first to be manufactured using Intel’s 45-nanometer process, the company said. The current crop of processors use a 65-nanometer manufacturing process.
Intel co-Founder Gordon Moore called the news the biggest advancement in processor technology in 40 years.
By using hafnium, the amount of electricity leakage taking place on a processor is greatly reduced, which means less energy needs to be expended to make the new processors operate, Intel said.
The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Hi-K quad-core processor, each of which contains 820 million transistors, will be the first available to consumers during the first quarter of 2008. The remaining 15 are slated for use in servers.