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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