Intel Comes Up With World’s First 3D Transistor

May 9th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Leading chip maker Intel has recently reported of developing another first in the industry. The company has just made what is known to be the world’s first 3D transistor. It is called as the Tri-Gate transistor and before anyone else thinks otherwise, it is not exactly the kind of “3D” anyone may have in mind.

What this transistor is all about is that it makes use of a 3 dimensional structure when made rather than the usual planar 2 dimensional structure. It makes use of a thin 3 dimensional silicon fin that rises up vertically from the silicon substrate. Current is then controlled by gates on three sides of the fin and not just by the one on top. What this means is that current may be kept flowing as strongly as possible when on and then as little as possible when turned off.

Well, it might be too complicated for anyone to further understand what this new innovation can do. But what experts say is that the development of the new 3D transistor may herald better power and performance of chips that have been experiencing issues the smaller they get. Even the standard transistors are quite small already that they may already have issues conducting current more effectively. What Intel has developed is that it is able to rotate the transistor and place it vertically rather than just laying it flat. This allows transistors to more efficiently conduct the current as well as allow chip makers to put more transistors on a chip than what was possible before. This may mean more powerful chips that take the same space area as the current ones and even the chance to get even smaller.

According to tests made by Intel, its new 22 nanometer 3D Tri-Gate transistors offer a 32 increase in performance at low voltage as compared to 32 nanometer planar transistors. The new 3D transistors also consume less than half the power at the same performance level as that of the 32nm chips. Although Intel has already been involved in the development of the 3D transistor about 8 years ago, this recent innovation is the first time that the leading chip maker have been successful in developing a process that will allow them to create them commercially.


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