AMD plans to add "strained silicon"
to its processors this quarter, in a move that will improve performance, according to a spokesman from the company.
Originally expected to make a debut with the 90-nm AMD chips, "strained silicon" will instead first appear on older 130-nm processors. The process works by "straining" the lattice of electrical bonds that make up the inside of a chip, pulling them apart slightly. This reduces the amount of power required to drive the chip, thereby allowing it to run faster. Intel has also got plans to introduce the technology to its chips, although in this case it will only be for 90-nm chips. AMD's 64-bit chips will include a combination of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) as well as strained silicon, which will bring further performance enhancements.