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Moore's Law Marches On At Intel

Already in the market with 45nm technology CPUs (more than 200 million since 2007) and 32nm planned for a 2010 release, chip manufacturer Intel have displayed a silicon wafer containing the world’s first working chips built on 22nm process technology. The 22nm test circuits include both SRAM memory as well as logic circuits to be used in future Intel microprocessors.

At the recent Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said “Moore’s Law is alive and thriving. We’ve begun production of the world’s first 32nm microprocessor, which is also the first high-performance processor to integrate graphics with the CPU. At the same time, we’re already moving ahead with development of our 22nm manufacturing technology and have built working chips that will pave the way for production of still more powerful and more capable processors.”

2.9 billion transistors

The 22nm wafer displayed by Otellini is made up of individual die containing 364 million bits of SRAM memory and has more than 2.9 billion transistors packed into an area the size of a fingernail.

Click for larger image

The chips contain the smallest SRAM cell used in working circuits ever reported at .092 square microns. The devices rely on a third-generation high-k metal gate transistor technology for improved performance and lower leakage power.

Intel’s 32nm process is now certified and processor wafers are moving through the factory in support of planned fourth quarter 2009 production.

Following the move to 32nm Intel will subsequently introduce Sandy Bridge, Intel’s next new microarchitecture. Sandy Bridge will feature a sixth-generation graphics core on the same die as the processor core and includes AVX instructions for floating point, media, and processor intensive software.

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