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Intel claims 3D chip revolution

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Intel said today that it will build its next generation of chips with 3D structures, a move that will allow it to pack much more computing power into a given space and stay on the path of technological advancement for years to come...

...The idea of 3D isn’t new itself, since all chips consist of layers of materials — insulators or conductors — on top of a base of silicon. But the fundamental unit, the transistor, has always had a structure where electrons moved two-dimensionally from one side to another. But this technology allows Intel to change the direction of the electrons from sideways movement to upward and downward flow as well. That allows Intel more control points where it can turn on or off the flow faster. One by product is that less current leaks out of the structure, resulting in less wasted power.

The result will be better performance and lower costs and lower power consumption. Intel hasn’t made an improvement like this since it introduce High-k metal gate transistors in 2007, something that other chip makers still haven’t matched. Other chip makers may be able to duplicate the research, but it is a matter of spending billions of dollars, lots of time, and making sure they don’t tread on Intel’s intellectual property.

In the move to Tri-Gate transistors, Intel will be able to reduce power consumption by more than 50 percent in a single generation, Bohr said. It will also provide a 37 percent leap in performance.

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i'll believe it when i see it. they actually made even MORE exhuberant claims in anticipation of the realease of the current line of chips, which were delayed and delayed and delayed and when they finally came out, turned out to be only an arguably marginal improvement over the existing ATI cards.

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