One key to getting more performance and better battery life from notebook computers and other devices that use a processor is to build the chip with smaller circuitry. Moving to ever-smaller production methods allows chipmakers like Intel to reduce costs for manufacturing, provide more performance, and to offer processors that are more power efficient.
Current Intel processors are built on the 45nm process, but Intel reported today that it has completed the development phase for its next generation 32nm process. The chipmaker says that it will be producing chips using 32nm processes in Q4 of 2009. Intel has maintained since December of 2006 that its 32nm process was on track.
Intel will provide technical details of its 32nm process technology and other topics at the annual International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco next week. This announcement that its 32nm process is developed means the firm has kept to its tick-tock strategy that has it introducing a new manufacturing process and new microarchitecture on alternating years.
Intel says the production of 32nm chips will mark the fourth consecutive quarter it has been able to adhere to the tick-tock strategy. Intel will outline its technology at IEDM and will talk about the second-generation high-k+ metal gate technology and its 193nm immersion lithography process for patterning layers on the chips. These technologies will all work together to deliver Intel microprocessors that deliver reductions in power usage and higher performance.
Intel's Mark Bohr, Senior Fellow and director of process architecture and integration said in a statement, "Our manufacturing prowess and resulting products have helped us widen our lead in computing performance and battery life for Intel-based laptops, servers and desktops. As we’ve shown this year, the manufacturing strategy and execution have also given us the ability to create entirely new product lines for MIDs, CE equipment, embedded computers and netbooks."