Intel unveils 3D future for low-powered chip design

Intel is to build a '3D' transistor design called Tri-Gate into its upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processor platform, the chipmaker said on Wednesday.According to the company, the design — which it first disclosed in 2002 — will allow the continuation of Moore's Law for years to come.

Intel is to build a '3D' transistor design called Tri-Gate into its upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processor platform, the chipmaker said on Wednesday.

According to the company, the design — which it first disclosed in 2002 — will allow the continuation of Moore's Law for years to come. The Tri-Gate design will, according to Intel, allow for lower-powered devices ranging from the server to handheld scale, and will add minimal cost to the company's wafer production.

Intel's factories will be upgraded to deliver Tri-Gate manufacturing over the next year or two, Intel fellow Mark Bohr said at a press conference. "Other companies have been exploring this idea [but] the real challenge is to get this manufacturable," he said. "Intel will enjoy at least a three-year lead in the industry."

The Tri-Gate design reduces leakage at low voltages. According to Intel, the 22nm Tri-Gate design will allow a performance increase of 37 percent, compared to the company's current 32nm planar designs.