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Intel promises cool chips

Intel has developed a new transistor structure to improve speed, power efficiency and heat reduction in processors.

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Intel has developed a new transistor structure to improve speed, power efficiency and heat reduction in processors.

The designs will be unveiled at this week's International Electron Device Meeting in Washington and will be available in 2005.

Intel said the technologies would enable the development of applications such as real-time voice and face recognition, computing without keyboards and smaller computing devices with higher performance and improved battery life.

Existing methods of semiconductor designs would eventually lead to chips that are too hot for desktop computers and servers, according to Intel.

"Smaller and faster just isn't good enough anymore," said Gerald Marcyk, Intel's director of components research. "Power and heat are the biggest issues for this decade. Our new transistor structure is helping make devices that are extremely power efficient, concentrating electrical current where it's needed."

The new structure will enable chips to be switched on or off more than one trillion times a second. A key component of the technology is the building of transistors into a thin layer of silicon on top of an embedded layer of insulator. This can mean 100-times less leakage than current solutions, said Intel.

Another key development is the use of a new material called high k gate dielectric, which can reduce leakage by a factor of 10,000.

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