Intel Corporation has announced a significant breakthrough in the evolution of the transistor, the microscopic building block of modern electronics. For the first time since the invention of silicon transistors over 50 years ago, transistors using a three-dimensional structure will be put into high-volume manufacturing.
Intel will introduce a 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate, first disclosed by Intel in 2002, into high-volume manufacturing at the 22-nanometer (nm) node in an Intel chip codenamed "Ivy Bridge." A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.
The three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistors represent a fundamental departure from the two-dimensional planar transistor structure that has powered not only all computers, mobile phones and consumer electronics to-date, but also the electronic controls within cars, spacecraft, household appliances, medical devices and virtually thousands of other everyday devices for decades.
Intel also shows off one of the first Ivy Bridge systems. This video was shot inside the Intel headquarters demo labs during preparation for the first public demonstration of a laptop, desktop and server running microprocessors built with Intel's reinvented transistors. These new, smaller 22-nanometer transistors hae been built with a novel 3-D design that significantly increases each transitor's current flow. The better the flow, the better the performance.