Intel completes 32-nanometer chip development

Chipmaker says it has completed the development phase of its next-generation manufacturing process that shrinks chip circuitry to 32 nanometers.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

Intel has completed the development phase of its next-generation manufacturing process that shrinks chip circuitry to 32 nanometers, the chipmaker said Tuesday night.

Intel 32-nanometer SRAM chip
Intel 32-nanometer SRAM chip Intel

Intel processors are currently made on a 45nm process. Generally, smaller geometries result in faster and more power-efficient processors.

"The company is on track for production readiness of this future generation (of transistors)...in the fourth quarter of 2009," the chipmaker said in a statement.

Intel said it will provide technical details about the 32nm process technology at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) next week in San Francisco.

Finishing the development phase for 32nm process technology keeps Intel on track with its "tick-tock" strategy. Tick-tock is intended to introduce either a new processor microarchitecture or cutting-edge manufacturing process about every 12 months.

"Producing 32nm chips next year would mark the fourth consecutive year that Intel has met its goal," the company said.

The 32nm paper and presentation "describe a logic technology that incorporates second-generation high-k + metal gate technology, 193nm immersion lithography for critical patterning layers, and enhanced transistor strain techniques," Intel said.

Other Intel IEDM papers will "describe a low power system on chip version of Intel's 45nm process, transistors based on compound semiconductors, substrate engineering to improve performance of 45nm transistors, integrating chemical mechanical polish for the 45nm node and beyond; and, integrating an array of silicon photonics modulators," according to the company's statement.

Intel will also participate in a short course on 22nm CMOS technology.