Approaching 45nm Era
The most fundamental level that makes this whole thing work is the transistor. And on the transistor level Moore’s law keep working perfectly.
Last year Intel introduced 60nm transistor. Today up to 10 million transistors can fit onto a tip of a ballpoint pen. This week Intel will have shipped their 40th million 65nm microprocessor:
This year Intel is planning another major transition: the launch of 45nm. As a result they are expecting a 30% performance boost and 5-fold reduction in leakage power on the transistor level.
Right now Intel boasts to have the world’s only 45nm production facility that cost 3 billion dollars to build. It is Fab D1D in Oregon:
However total investment is in 45nm production has already hit 9 billion dollars. There are two more fabs that are being built now in Israel and Arizona. These will be up and running for 45nm very soon:
As the production facilities are getting ready to be set in operation, the first 45nm design is also almost complete. Intel will have a total of 15 distinct microprocessor designs for this production technology. However, they intend on maintaining sustained technology leadership far beyond just the fine production process:
They will have 300% increase in performance-per-watt between now and the end of the decade.