Intel sets out chip roadmap and shows off first 32nm chips

Intel has showcased its first 32 nanometer (nm) chips and says the first chips using the faster and more energy-efficient technology will go into production in 2009.

Intel has showcased its first 32 nanometer (nm) chips and says the first chips using the faster and more energy-efficient technology will go into production in 2009.

At this week's Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel CEO Paul Otellini also described the near-term advantages computer users will experience with Intel's upcoming 45nm family of Penryn processors, which are based on Intel's high-k metal gate transistor technology.

The industry's first 45nm processors will be available from Intel in November. The company also demonstrated for the first time the next-generation chip architecture codenamed Nehalem, due out next year.

When Intel introduces Penryn in November, it will be the world's first high-volume 45nm processor.

Penryn, along with the Silverthorne family of 45nm processors (available next year) will have the small feature size, low-power requirements and high-performance capabilities to meet a wide variety of computing needs, from handheld internet computers to high-end servers.

Intel will quickly ramp up the technology with plans to introduce 15 new 45nm processors by the end of the year and another 20 in the first quarter of 2008.

"We expect our Penryn processors to provide up to a 20% performance increase while improving energy efficiency," said Otellini.

Looking to 2008, Otellini made the first public demonstration of Intel's Nehalem processor, and said the company is on track to deliver the new processor design in the second half of the year.

The Nehalem architecture is designed to improve performance and performance-per-watt benchmarks, and will be the first Intel processor to use the QuickPath Interconnect system architecture.

Quickpath will include integrated memory controller technology and improved communication links between system components to significantly improve overall system performance.

Otellini showed the world's first 300mm wafer built using next-generation 32nm process technology.

Intel's 32nm test chips incorporate logic and memory (static random access memory - SRam) to house more than 1.9bn transistors. The 32nm process uses the company's second-generation high-k and metal gate transistor technology.




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