Intel Corp. pulled back the curtain Friday on some of its future research projects to continue making transistors smaller, faster and less power-hungry out as far as 2020. In a briefing for reporters and analysts at the company's Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters, Intel researchers discussed exotic materials such as carbon nanotubes and nanowires as well as novel techniques to take the transistor down to the atomic level.
The performance and cost benefits from ever-shrinking transistors have driven Intel and the rest of the IT industry for the past 30 years, but advanced researchers are starting to plan for the day in which transistor features simply cannot be made any smaller using conventional materials and techniques.
Once researchers get down to the atomic level, where transistor gates are no wider than an individual atom or two, current manufacturing techniques and materials simply won't work, said Paolo Gargini, an Intel fellow and director of technology strategy at the company.
More about Intel's future plans at ComputerWorld
Intel prepares for next 20 years of chip making
Posted on Monday, Oct 25 2004 @ 18:57 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck