Intel working on 5 nanometer transistors

Even though Intel just managed to market its first chips manufactured on a 22nm technology node with 3rd generation Core CPUs (aka Ivy Bridge), a couple of slides leaked on-line show how much – and how far – Santa Clara is looking into the future of microprocessor technology.

First published by X-bit labs with a couple of quotes credited to Intel CEO Paul Otellini, the slides contain a “R&D Pipeline” stating that Chipzilla is already developing a 14 nm manufacturing process: production of the first chips with 14 nm transistors should start in 2013, the slide says.



Otellini states that Intel’s research and development department is “quite deep”, thinking and working on a ten years-long time scale. To make 14 nm and subsequent processors, the company will upgrade three of its “fabs” located in Oregon (“D1X”), Arizona (“Fab 42”) and Ireland (“Fab 24”).

After the 14 nm microchips, Intel will continue to deliver leading-edge technology with 10 nm, 7 nm and 5 nm from 2015 onward. These impossibly tiny production nodes are still in research, the company says, and yet Otellini talks about technology advancements that are and will be “on time and on target” as the slide says. To put things in perspective, the 5 nm transistors will be comparable in size to a strand of DNA.

Image source: X-bit labs.

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They really should be putting more R&D into finding a replacement for Silicon units. If they could, they could easily achieve the -5 nm marks, depending on the material.

SSCorporal said,
They really should be putting more R&D into finding a replacement for Silicon units. If they could, they could easily achieve the -5 nm marks, depending on the material.

most likely they have already, I know one of my profs won a 30k prize for some CPU design (combinatorics stuff) with his brother. Both insanely smart.

SSCorporal said,
They really should be putting more R&D into finding a replacement for Silicon units. If they could, they could easily achieve the -5 nm marks, depending on the material.
-5 nm?? How exactly do you build a transistor with negative size?

Maybe you're thinking 0.5 or 0.05 nm? Or possibly getting into smaller measurements like picometer, femtometer, Attometer, and so on.

Personally I will not be impressed until we have a planck transistor...

I doubt transistors will get that much smaller. Problem is the uncertainty principle starts to take effect at those scales. Future computing will be less likely to use an electronic gate component and instead see the manipulation of particles into states that represent stored processing outcomes, aka quantumn computing. Binary/digital computers will look even more primitive than the typwriter does to the most advanced PC's.

the "nm process" has confused a lot of people. it's not the width of a transistor. it's simply a marketing standard accepted by the engineering community as a measure of relative size of a cpu's internals.

the real definition of the "nm process" is the HALF-PITCH (1/2 width) between two lines on in a memory cell. so, in the 22nm process, the distance between two lines in a DRAM cell is 44nm.

so, while it does signify the process of making cpu's "smaller," it's not the width of a transistor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/22_nanometer

These CPU companies need to focus on lowering power requirements. Right now homes don't even need heaters if you have one of their new CPUs (and GPUs).

5nm o,0

last i heard 8nm would be the limit that they can manufacturer or something

guaranteed that is from few years ago

I guess by 5 NM everything will be on the CPU: North, South bridges, Memory - basically, the CPU will take the place of the motherboard.

The tick tock strategy would have to take longer then 2+ years going after 14nm, since there are the 400mm wafer transition, TSV etc.

Iridium said,
400mm? did you mean 40nm?

No... you wouldn't be able to fit very many transistors on a 40nm silicon wafer...

rfirth said,

No... you wouldn't be able to fit very many transistors on a 40nm silicon wafer...

ha, think he meant 40mm - but 400 would be 1/2 a meter or near enough. slightly too large. or is this the size they're made in then chopped out of (or whatever happens)

I remember one of my college teachers talking about the upcoming 0.18 micron Pentium III Coppermine chips and how they probably weren't going to be able to make them much smaller.

Why do they need to make five of them? Shouldn't they just focus on making one good nanometer transistor?

WHAT!? You must be american right? The rest of the world has this measurement system known as standard international units where the metre is the base of length. The prefix nano means to the billionth. ipsofacto a nanometre simply means a billionth of a metre. Its a wonderful system with only a few base units

Enron said,
Why do they need to make five of them? Shouldn't they just focus on making one good nanometer transistor?

I think this nano tech is slowly-but-inevitably reaching its limit. I prefer a breakthrough beyond nano measurement level. Well, pico or femto perhaps...

Enron said,
Why do they need to make five of them? Shouldn't they just focus on making one good nanometer transistor?

How in the name of Christ would you think from that headline that they were just going to make 5 of anything, I mean once its gone into your head and processed by common sense filters and logic - Oh wait.................

mahara said,

I think this nano tech is slowly-but-inevitably reaching its limit. I prefer a breakthrough beyond nano measurement level. Well, pico or femto perhaps...

they can't

the power leakage is just to much , the chip would fries or not work at all

Ci7 said,

they can't

the power leakage is just to much , the chip would fries or not work at all

I didn't say it had to be done that way. Perhaps, there's other way...

duddit2 said,

How in the name of Christ would you think from that headline that they were just going to make 5 of anything, I mean once its gone into your head and processed by common sense filters and logic - Oh wait.................

That one flew right over your head.

Ci7 said,

they can't

the power leakage is just to much , the chip would fries or not work at all

With silicon yes but my guess is that he's thinking of other materials. Hell, 5nm is really pushing it and you stand a high risk of quantum tunneling occurring.

mahara said,

I think this nano tech is slowly-but-inevitably reaching its limit. I prefer a breakthrough beyond nano measurement level. Well, pico or femto perhaps...

You think nano is reaching it's limit, but think it's plausible for them to get even smaller? Nano is just a measurement.

KCRic, the size limit shouldn't depend on the material, there is literally a physical limit with the technology. New materials (I know of) are aimed at increasing electron mobility, not reducing the size of the transistors. I'm pretty sure Graphene has an electron mobility roughly 10 times that of doped silicon, but there are problems with making graphene transistors.

That's pretty awesome, who knows what the next few years will also bring in technological advancement that with smaller transistors makes some exciting new stuff!