New transistor and materials combine to help chips run faster and cooler

NOVEMBER 26--According to Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA; www.intel.com), its researchers have developed an innovative transistor structure and new materials that represent a dramatic improvement in transistor speed, power efficiency, and heat reduction.

NOVEMBER 26--According to Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA; www.intel.com), its researchers have developed an innovative transistor structure and new materials that represent a dramatic improvement in transistor speed, power efficiency, and heat reduction. The technology development is an important milestone in the effort to maintain the pace of Moore's Law and remove the technical barriers that Intel and the semiconductor industry have only recently begun to identify.

The technology breakthrough, coupled with recent announcements from Intel on faster and smaller transistors, will enable powerful new applications such as real-time voice and face recognition, computing without keyboards, and smaller computing devices with higher performance and improved battery life. "Our research has shown that we can continue to make smaller and faster transistors, but there are fundamental problems we need to address around power consumption, heat generation, and current leakage," said Gerald Marcyk, director of components research, Intel Labs. "Our goal is to overcome these barriers and produce chips that have 25 times the number of transistors of today's microprocessors at ten times the speed with no increase in power consumption."

Intel researchers will discuss two major elements of the new transistor structure at the International Electron Device Meeting in Washington, DC, on Dec. 3. Intel's technical papers will address power consumption, current leakage, and heat issues with two significant improvements to existing transistor design: a new type of transistor called a "depleted substrate transistor" and a new material called a "high k gate dielectric." Together, these advancements dramatically reduce current leakage and power consumption.

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