Intel shows off 45nm test chips

Chipmaker says it is on track to deliver more powerful and efficient systems based on the new process design next year.

Intel processors based on 45nm (nanometer) logic technology are on track to ship in the second half of 2007, says a senior executive.

Intel announced Thursday that it has made fully-functional 153-Mbit (megabit) SRAM (static random access memory) chips, each carrying more than 1 billion transistors. These working SRAM chips include the entire transistor and interconnect features to be used on 45nm microprocessors when they are eventually produced.

The memory cell size of each 45nm SRAM chip is 0.345 microns, almost half the size of today's 65nm cell.

Intel claims that 45nm technology provides improved performance per watt compared to current 65nm technology. For example, the technology provides twice the improvement in transistor density, either in the form of a smaller chip size or increased transistor count.

The new technology also features a 20 percent increase in transistor switching speed, a five-fold reduction in leakage power, and consumes 30 percent less transistor switching power, Mark Bohr, Intel's senior fellow and director of process architecture and integration, said in a phone interview with ZDNet Asia.