Intel's silicon advances

By Derek Sooman on
There's a lot of work to be done to keep pushing out faster and better CPUs, and Intel is ahead of the game, of course. Its introducing a number of new technologies to improve the silicon used in its chips.

By no means the least of these is the process of using strained silicon. This increases transistor drive current which improves switching speed by making current flow more smoothly. It can increase performance by 30 percent, or provide a 4x improvement in inadvertent electricity leakage. Intel first used the technology in its 90-nanometer chips and will continue to refine and improve the process. Intel is also working on other improvements, including transistors that block power to other circuits, and other enhancements.

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