September 9, 2008

The 45nm effect

As all we know chips are the most important circuitry part of processors and processor speed is also depends on the size of the chips.In recent years chip making technology has been moved from 90nm to 65nm,but today it moved up to 45nm.The worlds largest processor making company Intel is shrinking chip sizes like never before.Intel has invested $1.5 billion in this project.Intel's 45nm chip is believed to be smaller,faster,and more power efficient than all its predecessors. The "45nm effect" implies that by using nano technology size of the chips can be reduced up to 45nm.

Hence, in order to reduce the chip size we have to reduce the transistor size,but as the transistor get thinner,electrical leakage takes place in the transistors.Hence while shrinking the size of the silicon-di-oxide gate dielectric,transistor gate leakage was one of the most difficult technical challenges that industry faced. To get rid of this problem,Intel has developed a hafnium-based material with the high k property (where k is the dielectric constant of the material),which helps deliver transistors with very low leakage current and high performance.Reducing power leakage and improving performance are the most important features of Intel project.The company's most advanced manufacturing technology today is 65nm,which went into commercial production last year.In the current stage Intel has about fifteen 45nm product design in various stages of development.

The resulting chips that are formed after "45 nm" technology will have 820 millions transistors to put in for parallel computing,energy management and graphics.Today market is still waiting for applications of this 45nm chip.The chips that are produced on 45nm technology will be faster ,consume less energy,contain more transistor and be cheaper to mass produce.All of this results in better PC,laptop and server processor speed,while reducing the amount of power leakage from transistors and hence overall efficiency is increased.In today's server environment people want to consolidate.This is an opportunity for software developers across the globe to implement parallelism in their applications.But this is not the limit,very soon we see microprocessors that use up to 32nanometere chips from this industry.The future of smaller and more intelligent chips,according to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors or ITRS(http://www.irts.net/reports.html),will be 32nm,22nm and then 16nm technology.

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