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Intel unveils 'ultra-fast, low power' prototype transistor

Posted: 12 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intel? transistor? qinetiq?

Intel Corp. announced the development of a new prototype transistor using new materials that could form the basis of its microprocessors and other logic products beginning in the second half of the next decade.

Intel and QinetiQ researchers have jointly demonstrated an enhancement-mode transistor using indium antimonide (InSb) to conduct electrical current. Transistors control the flow of information/electrical current inside a chip. The prototype transistor is much faster and consumes less power than previously announced transistors, Intel said.

"By providing 50 percent more performance while reducing power consumption by roughly 10 times, this new material will give us considerable flexibility because we will have ability to optimize for both performance and power of future platforms," said Ken David, director of components research for Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group.

According to researchers from Intel and QinetiQ, compared to the previously announced transistors with InSb channels, the latest prototype transistors, with a gate length of 85nm, are the smallest ever at less than half the size of those disclosed earlier. In addition, the transistors are able to operate at a reduced voltage, about 0.5V, roughly half of that for transistors in today's chips.

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