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Breakthrough in microprocessor technology


Intel have announced that they have developed a tiny transistor that could create 10GHz chips with a ten fold increase in processor speed within the next five years.

The latest and tiniest invention is called a CMOS transistor which is just 30 nanometres in size and three atomic layers thick. Intel are reported to have said that the development of their new transistor paves the way for newer faster microprocessors and predict that within the next five years they will break the ten billion cycles per second (10GHz) barrier with processors running on less than one volt.

Intel are hoping to introduce the new design into commercial production as soon as possible. 30 Nanometres are equivalent to 0.03 microns, most manufacturers can develop chips with 0.18 micron elements and are expected to start making 0.13 micron chips late in 2001.

Processors developed using this technology are ten times more complex than Intel's recently released Pentium 4 range. Existing Pentium 4 chips have 42 million transistors and runs at 1.5GHz. Future Intel chips are expected to have around 400 million transistors and reach speeds of 10GHz.


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