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Intel's Roadmap Includes 4nm Fab in 2022

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  • Power vs Speed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Efreet (246368) on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:09PM (#29175657)

    It seems to me that rather than the identity and timeframe for the different technology nodes (which anyone who knows Moore's law could have given in advance) the interesting thing from that slide is what it says about delay scaling and energy scaling. Whenever you shrink your process you have a certain amount of gain that can go into either making the chip faster or making the chip more power efficient. For a long time back in the day people wanted to stay at 5 volts to preserve compatibility, so everyone just kept putting it into going faster. Nowadays chipmakers try to go for a more balanced strategy.

    But here, on this chart, Intel is saying that they're going to a delay scaling of "~1", staying at pretty much the same speed. And they're looking to increase their energy scaling from "~.5" to ">.5". So it looks like we really have topped out in terms of GHz.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:13PM (#29175707)

    As a 'marketing dweeb' at a big chip company I can tell you that most of us (me included) are former engineers who moved to marketing because we could make significantly more money there, have a nicer office, and generally a better working environment.

    We set our own deadlines. If a product fails we decide why (guess what...it is never because it wasn't marketed well). We set our own hours. We travel when we want, where we want. Our co-workers are better dressed and better mannered and have much better hygiene. I can sit in meetings and daydream all day if I want, because my boss doesn't measure my output by piece work standards.

    Of course not just any engineer can make the jump. You have to have social skills. Be good looking. Speak well. Not be shy. Have a sense of fashion. Be funny among normal people, not just at Gen-con.

    I can see why Slashdotters are envious of marketing people.

  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:22PM (#29175821)

    Here's [aeiveos.com] a set of roadmaps generated at three-year intervals. Note that, with the exception of RAM density, each of the charted criteria outran the roadmaps' predictions.

    These roadmaps are generated by a consortium of companies. They're routinely betting the future of their entire industry on these roadmaps. They're actually pretty darned conservative.

  • Or so you think! ^^

    After all there's a reason you're not actually working in enginerring, when you're such a great engineer...

  • by feranick (858651) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:05PM (#29176333)
    No, I am not assuming they will use silicon. I was just commenting on what pretty much everybody else in this forum wrongly referred to (the Si radius). So the possibility for them to use anything else is more than real, in fact it's a requirement. Si, even in the stable form you mention, may just never get there, since it still is based on its cubic phase. Obviously, one has to be able to make (for real, not just in a computer simulation) such novel phase. (BTW, a possible choice is graphene. Intel won a major grant from DARPA in development of graphene based electronics for high frequency applications).
  • by rcamans (252182) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:10PM (#29176411)

    Actually, I have been privy to Intel planning for many years, as I used to work there. It takes many years to develop the next generation uP. That means that the 16 nm devices are already in initial design stages. Since the overall design process is such a big job, all the supporting hardware is a major part of the design process. Like the fab hardware. So, no, much of this roadmap is not a thought experiment, but already many projects with many members working on the pieces. Otherwise, the plan would never come together when its time has arrived.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:45PM (#29177763)

    Sure, but if the electron randomly jumps the gates 40% of the time, you just have to wait for 40 electrons to pass by and there's no problem at all.
    When quantum mechanics dominate, we just have to take this into account, it doesn't mean that devices are impossible to design, and people have been studying the effects of quantum mechanics rather thoughroly for decades now.

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