Today Intel announced plans to produce and distribute the world’s first 3-D transistor – a revolutionary breakthrough in computer hardware that heralds a new generation of more powerful computer chips that consume less energy. Dubbed the “Tri-Gate” transistor, the device is 37% more energy-efficient than current 2D transistors at low voltages and consumes less than half the energy of 2D transistors while running at the same performance level. Transistors form the building blocks of modern electronics, so the breakthrough has far-reaching implications for devices ranging from mobile phones to computers, medical equipment, and vehicles.
Since their introduction in the 1950′s, transistors have revolutionized the field of electronics, enabling the development of smaller and cheaper devices ranging from radios to calculators, computers, and beyond. Up until now 2D transistors have set the standard, and over the years they have steadily shrunk in accordance with Moore’s law – however devices are becoming so small that physical laws have created barriers to advancement.
Enter Intel’s new 22nm Tri-Gate transistors, which can be packed onto smaller chips than current 2D 32nm transistors while consuming less than half the power. The new transistors will also enable exciting advances in portable electronics, as they are 37 percent more powerful when operating at low voltages. Intel already has plans to produce and ship a new breed of Ivy Bridge processors that utilize the Tri-Gate transistors by 2012, extending Moore’s law well into the future.