Intel Spills Details on 3D Transistor Port to Smartphone Chips
December 11, 2012 5:18 PM
Processors can be up to 65 percent faster thanks to novel new design
Intel Corp. (
) has a long way to go to be a strong competitor to the coalition of ARM Holdings Plc (
) licensees who today dominate the smartphone and tablet industries. The company, long the dominant force in the personal computer CPU market, is
to catch up. Its first smartphone effort -- Medfield was
, although not giving Intel a clear win over rival ARM-based offerings.
I. Tri-Gate is Crucial to Intel's Mobile Ambition
But Intel has a trick up its sleeve for the next round --
22 nanometer tri-gate transistors
. The unique 3D transistor technology employs a special fin-shaped structure to eliminate leakage at the gate, a key source of inefficiency and inaccuracy, as transistors get smaller.
Kaizad Mistry, a vice president in Intel's manufacturing group,
The Wall Street Journal
, "There has been some press about how TriGate may not be suited for SoCs. I find that frankly quite baffling."
Intel's tri-gate transistors will hit the mobile market next year.
revealed its tri-gate transistors
, its latest personal computer CPU line, which
launched earlier this year
is currently the leader in single-threaded performance in that market.
For Intel, a company who
invests vast sums
in process improvement, die shrinks allow the company to yield continuous improvement, while novel technologies like tri-gate allow the company to offer a little something extra. In the personal computer CPU market where Intel has long dominated, such extras are less game changing, but in the mobile market where it's struggled they're critical. Intel needs all the help it can get as its monolithic chips, while powerful, have traditionally been less power-efficient on the mobile front than ARM processors.
II. Critics Not Convinced Technology Will be Enough
Intel's critics are quick to point out that the company promised 22 nm smartphone chips in H1 2013, but has delayed the launch roughly 6 months to sometime in H2 2013.
But Intel looked to silence doubters by releasing a paper at the 2012 International Electron Devices Meeting (
) in San Francisco this week. The paper details Intel's work to port the process to the mobile (Atom) chip line. The paper claims that the 3D transistors will bump processor speeds by between 22 and 65 percent, while also offering power savings over 32 nm Atom chips.
But the critics are as noisy as ever. Some say Intel's chips are too expensive to gain ground, while others call the gains of the company's novel 3D transistor technology okay, but uninspired (taking into account that part of the aforementioned performance/power gains come from the die shrink itself, not the 3D design).
Price remains a major roadblock for Medfield; the Intel chips are more than twice as expensive as their most expensive ARM counterparts.
University of Glasgow
electrical engineering processor and head of technology consulting firm Gold Standard Simulations Ltd., comments, "Honestly speaking, this isn't a big improvement."
Scott Thompson, who once served as an Intel research fellow and today is chief technology officer of chip technology firm SuVolta Inc. comments, "I think Intel has the best engineering team out there. The problem with where they are going is their technology is just not cost-effective for the mobile space."
Atom chips typically start at around $40 USD per unit, while ARM-based chips are priced at between $5 and $20 USD.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
IDF 2012: Intel Presents the Future of Atom Chip Powered Smartphones
September 12, 2012, 3:45 PM
Intel Leaves Door Open to x86 Windows Phones, Teases at 22 nm Merrifield
June 6, 2012, 11:40 AM
Competent But No Clear Winner: Intel Medfield Surprises Battery Life-Wise
April 25, 2012, 3:23 PM
Intel Launches Ivy Bridge, Hypes Low TDP to Counter Poor Graphics
April 23, 2012, 12:45 PM
IDF 2011: Intel Looks to Take a Bite Out of ARM, AMD With 3D FinFET Tech
September 13, 2011, 10:15 PM
Are You in the Market for Earphones?
March 24, 2017, 7:35 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8, Rumored Launch Date!
March 18, 2017, 6:45 AM
How about Leica Cameras
March 13, 2017, 6:30 AM
Nokia has ditched this camera technology in its new smartphones
March 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
A Baseball Cap With Camera
March 3, 2017, 7:00 AM
Nokia 3310 with longer battery life
February 28, 2017, 7:05 AM
Most Popular Articles
Comparison – Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Vs Microsoft Surface Pro 4
March 21, 2017, 7:40 AM
Apple iPad – New Faster Processor and More Fun
March 22, 2017, 7:25 AM
Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 – Intel Thunderbolt 3 Certified Motherboard
March 9, 2017, 6:25 AM
Huawei P8 Lite 2017 – Android 7 Nougat Smartphone with Octa-Core Processor
March 8, 2017, 7:03 AM
Lenovo ThinkPad T460 - Ultra-Thin and Feather-light
March 3, 2017, 6:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Are you thinking of performance and speed? Intel claims:
Mar 25, 2017, 7:45 AM
Apple buys an automation app called Workflow. The deal was completed today and brings the app along with its developers.
Mar 23, 2017, 7:35 AM
Apple Announces new color for iPhones and iPads
Mar 22, 2017, 7:45 AM
Instagram: You Can Now Save Live Videos For Later
Mar 21, 2017, 7:49 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 to Get New Color Scheme
Mar 20, 2017, 7:45 AM
What else to worry about?
Mar 17, 2017, 6:45 AM
Icon of the Day: Intel/ NVIDIA or Mobileye
Mar 16, 2017, 6:15 AM
JUST IN - Twitter Hijacked : High-Profile Account Accesses
Mar 15, 2017, 7:07 AM
Mar 14, 2017, 7:30 AM
News and Tips
Mar 13, 2017, 6:30 AM
iPhone 8 – May Not Get Curved Screen
Mar 11, 2017, 8:00 AM
California paves way to self-driving car tests without humans
Mar 11, 2017, 7:18 AM
Smart Machines V hackers
Mar 10, 2017, 7:00 AM
Uber Can Resume Autonomous Car Testing in California
Mar 9, 2017, 6:50 AM
Mar 8, 2017, 7:09 AM
Mar 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
World news 3-6
Mar 6, 2017, 5:40 AM
Mar 4, 2017, 7:40 AM
Mixed News of the Day
Mar 4, 2017, 6:32 AM
Jaguar Land Rover invests in ride-sharing
Mar 3, 2017, 7:00 AM
Mixed News of The World:
Mar 2, 2017, 7:02 AM
World New 3-1
Mar 1, 2017, 6:30 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information