Intel has come up with a producable processor that is much smaller, power efficient, and more powerful than traditional processors.
Despite promises, Intel has failed to deliver a low-power chip suited to miniature gadgets like phones and tablet computers, with their relatively tiny batteries. Partner electronics makers and investors are getting restless.
The development Intel showed Wednesday was a decade in the making, said Mark Bohr, an Intel senior fellow.
It employs a three-dimensional structure to pack more processing channels into each transistor, the microscopic unit that amplifies electronic signals and is a building block of all electronic devices.
Traditionally, transistor channels have been situated flat on a surface. Intel engineers took these channels, which serve as the neurons for a computer’s brain, and realigned them to fit into smaller spaces.
Intel called the design “a fundamental departure” from the two-dimensional transistor structure that has powered electronics within computers, cars, household appliances and other devices for decades.
Intel said the 3-D transistors are so small that more than 100 million could fit on the head of a pin. The original transistor, built by Bell Labs in 1947, was large enough to be pieced together by hand.
“Transistors have entered the third dimension,” Bohr said onstage.
He said the new design will help the company push the limits of Moore’s Law, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore’s theory that the number of transistors able to fit on a microchip doubles every two years or so.”
I’m excited to see where this is going.