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Intel may announce tri gate transistors today

Intel will be holding a press conference today which is causing a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ discussion.

Sources, including Wall Street are confident that Intel are almost ready to announce the launch of their tri-gate transistors. If this is true then it will be potentially the biggest tech news this year.

Intel said in 2006 that the integrated CMOS tri-gate transistors will play a huge role in Intel’s energy efficient plans, because they have a much lower leakage current and consume less power.

In the Intel tri-gate transistor, gates surround the silicon channel on three of four sides.

Intel say “The semiconductor industry continues to push technological innovation to keep pace with Moore’s Law, shrinking transistors so that ever more can be packed on a chip. However, at future technology nodes, the ability to shrink transistors becomes more and more problematic, in part due to worsening short channel effects and an increase in parasitic leakages with scaling of the gate-length dimension. Both transistor off-state leakage (which increases with reducing gate length dimension) and gate oxide leakage (which increases with decreasing gate dielectric thickness) are contributing to the increase in power dissipation with scaling.

To address the transistor off-state leakage issue, in 2002 Intel developed the world’s first CMOS tri-gate transistor, which employs a novel three-dimensional gate design that improves the drive current while reducing the leakage current when the transistor is in the off state. Since then, Intel has further improved the performance and energy efficiency of the transistor by integrating the tri-gate design with other silicon process technology and material innovations, including strained silicon, high-k gate dielectrics, metal gate electrodes, and epitaxially raised source/drain. The result is a non-planar transistor that can provide 30 percent higher NMOS drive current and 60 percent higher PMOS drive current than the optimized, state-of-the-art 65nm-node planar transistors at the same off-state leakage. This result shows that the benefits of the various silicon innovations are indeed additive and can be combined to extend and continue the CMOS scaling and performance trends.”

This technology will clearly evolve into economical, low power and high performance products which could target markets that Intel are struggling to get a foothold in right now, falling behind British chip maker ARM.

Intel had said that these tri gate transistors would be out in 2010, so they are falling behind and the technology is overdue. There is another rumour that they are also showcasing their 22 nanometer chips at the event.

KitGuru says: Big news for Intel if they announce today

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