Looks like 3D isn't just a fad, folks, so long as we're talking about silicon -- Intel just announced that it has invented a 3D "Tri-Gate" transistor that will allow the company to keep shrinking chips, Moore's Law naysayers be darned. Intel says the transistors will use 50 percent less power, conduct more current and provide 37 percent more speed than their 2D counterparts thanks to vertical fins of silicon substrate that stick up through the other layers, and that those fancy fins could make for cheaper chips too -- currently, though, the tri-gate tech adds an estimated 2 to 3 percent cost to existing silicon wafers. Intel says we'll see the new technology first in its 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs, going into mass production in the second half of the year, and it's planning 14nm chips in 2013 and 10nm chips in 2015. Also, 3D transistors won't be limited to the cutting edge -- Intel reps told journalists that they "will extend across the entire range of our product line," including mobile devices. Three videos and a press release await you after the break.
Chris Trout contributed to this report.Permalink | | Email this | Comments