Intel to unveil new faster transistor design


Intel to unveil new faster transistor design

Antony Savvas

Intel and UK-based Qinetiq plan to reveal a new transistor prototype this week that is designed to keep Moore’s Law on track.

Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on a chip can be doubled every two years. This doubling is usually possible through shrinking the size of the transistors to achieve performance gains.

But smaller transistors tend to leak power and give off more heat. The new transistor system to be announced is similar in design to existing transistors currently used on chips. But instead of manufacturing chips from silicon, it uses indium antimonide, made from indium and antimony.

While this compound shares similar characteristics to silicon, Intel and Qinetiq say the new transistor material can cut power consumption by 10 times while at the same time boosting processing by 50%.

Intel says chips featuring the new material probably won’t be ready for commercial production until 2015.

The new transistor design is scheduled to be unveiled at this week’s International Electron Devices Meeting in the US.

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