Moore's Law Alive and Well: 22 nm wafer Demoed
The first part is technology. Now Intel creates and evolves another generation of standards. There are three essential technologies: Moore’s law, platform architecture that takes advantage of silicon technology, and the last is software. The proper combination of three allows building the continuum.
Intel has always been in pursuit of the Moore’s law:
And they are not stopping. The next generation of silicon is 32 nm. It makes it economically feasible for Intel to manufacture billion+ transistors in mass volume. They have already reached yields to make it high volume production. Intel started to manufacture Westmere already preparing for shipping these processors in Q4 of this year.
However, Intel is not stopping at 32 nm and the next milestone is going to be 22 nm. At this point they couldn’t show a picture yet, but they did show the world’s first working 22 nm silicon technology:
These are chips built with third-generation high-k metal gate technology, featuring 2.9 billion transistors. It is living proof that Intel’s Moore’s law is alive and well.
Inel Platform Architecture: Atom and SOC
The second block forming the technology segment for building computer continuum is Intel platform architecture. As you may remember from our previous IDF reports, Intel introduced “tick-tock” concept several years ago. They have been sticking to it for many generations in a row and it continues into today. Westmere is a new scalable architecture. Now graphics has been integrated into the microprocessor. Looking forward to the 22 nm they are ready tom offer significant new design of the processors which will take advantage of the silicon technology that we have just seen.
As we see, Intel has a new core coming out every two years. They have also announced moving the production of Atom core into TSMC. This way they should be able to reach to new customers through volume and to use it for wide variety of devices for new markets.
Intel considered making the shift into doing even more SOCs. Of course, they couldn’t stop doing what they have done so far especially after seeing the success. For the same product lines Intel is prepared to offer 22% increase in performance. And this new technology will go into products like Westmere. Intel will increase the scaling capability of their chips and provide 30x reduction in leakage. Increasing the production of system on chip solutions and enhancing the technology behind them will allow Intel to supply for wider variety of markets. Over five years or so Paul Otellini predicted that Intel Corporation would eventually ship more SOC devices per year than processors.
The third block forming the technology segment essential for building the continuum is software. However, it is changing dramatically. Paul admitted that most of his career he talked about client servers. Today it is not true. There are multiple clients, very different clients. Intel is very committed to developer community and giving them tools for development. Over the past years they have acquired over 10 companies to be able to deliver the tools needed. Wright now Intel has the third largest ISP program in the world. 136,000 students were taught how to program on multi-core environment and benefit from it.