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The countdown to 45nm production starts

The countdown to 45nm production starts

Courtesy of Intel, this image shows just how small a 45nm chip is compared to a US dime.

In just 44 days, Intel's Fab 32 production facility in Arizona will awaken with a new purpose in life. That purpose? To start cranking out high-k and metal gate based 45 nanometre processors which will lead to faster, yet cooler computing.

As Tim explained earlier this year, high-k and metal gate transistors are a great step away from today's use of a silicon dioxide as a dielectric. High-k gates use Hafnium-based material as a dielectric which allows the die to be shrunk even further without risking a massive amount of current leakage that happens with current materials.

Current silicon gate electrodes aren't compatible with this new material so Intel's R&D has had to design a new metal electrode in order to solve the problem. Right now though, the company is keeping the exact metals being used under wraps but we're bound to find out eventually.

Basically what all of this means is that Intel will be able to shrink transistor sizes even further in the future with less current leakage in the chips. This, in turn, will lead to faster, cooler processors that are more power efficient than current processors. The first core that will use this new production process is the "Penryn" which is a refresh of the current "Core" microarchitecture.

"Penryn" won't just be a simple convert over to the new manufacturing process either as it will have 50 new SSE4 instructions, new power features, and more L2 cache then ever before. When "Penryn" launches later this year, it is already set to bring processing to a whole new level from what we know it today.

Excited about where this new production process could lead us in the future? Mark your thoughts over in the forums or in the comment section below.

24 Comments

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Rebourne 12th September 2007, 18:28 Quote
Woooooooo! I'm a big fan of miniaturization!

...no sarcasm
DarkLord7854 12th September 2007, 18:43 Quote
Well there goes Phenom's supposed lead down the toilet.. I wonder if Penryn will use Socket775, it'd be nice being able to upgrade just the CPU
samkiller42 12th September 2007, 18:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Well there goes Phenom's supposed lead down the toilet.. I wonder if Penryn will use Socket775, it'd be nice being able to upgrade just the CPU

Yes, it is a 775 system, and i think that a few nforce 6 boards are 45nm tech compatible, with just a bios update.

If someone has any other info to prove im right or wrong, just shoot me:P

Sam
DarkLord7854 12th September 2007, 19:16 Quote
Well I hope my 680i is compatible then, would be very nice :D
Queelis 12th September 2007, 19:22 Quote
Current P35 motherboards claim support for upcoming Penryn processors, so they should be socket 775 :)
wuyanxu 12th September 2007, 19:32 Quote
what? just after i received my q6600 G0?

i may just give up trying to keep up with CPU
E.E.L. Ambiense 12th September 2007, 19:42 Quote
:) I just try to keep within 3 years tech-wise. I'd go crazy otherwise.
Tim S 12th September 2007, 19:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Queelis
Current P35 motherboards claim support for upcoming Penryn processors, so they should be socket 775 :)

Yep, Yorkfield and Wolfdale (the desktop versions of Penryn) are both LGA775 :)
drakanious 12th September 2007, 20:21 Quote
FTA: "High-k gates use halnium-based material..."

I believe you meant hafnium, chemical symbol Hf. (See? College is good for something.)
Flyingsheep 12th September 2007, 21:32 Quote
I still have a 180nm processor.
Da Dego 12th September 2007, 21:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by drakanious
FTA: "High-k gates use halnium-based material..."

I believe you meant hafnium, chemical symbol Hf. (See? College is good for something.)

I'm so proud you caught a typo. What's the chemical symbol for "overeager pedantic git"?

(typo is now fixed, for those of you straining your eyes to find it)
revlob 12th September 2007, 22:22 Quote
Question is, do I get a Q6600 now, or wait for Penryn?
The_Beast 12th September 2007, 22:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by revlob
Question is, do I get a Q6600 now, or wait for Penryn?

I'd wait, it's only 44 days
Woodstock 12th September 2007, 23:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
I'd wait, it's only 44 days

thats when they start building they wont be shipping them on the same day lol
Pie_uk 12th September 2007, 23:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
thats when they start building they wont be shipping them on the same day lol

lmao.

well my ds2r is ready :) bearlake
Duste 13th September 2007, 00:19 Quote
Only 45nm? Hurry up and get to 5nm, gawd. :P
Woodstock 13th September 2007, 01:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duste
Only 45nm? Hurry up and get to 5nm, gawd. :P

go on i challenge you to even measure that size with a ruler
Firehed 13th September 2007, 03:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
go on i challenge you to even measure that size with a ruler
Heh, you can't measure it with anything that requires light. The shortest wavelength in the visible spectrum is just over 400nm. You need an SEM (or something that uses that general area of microscopy) to see in that range.
outlawaol 13th September 2007, 06:35 Quote
dangit....

now my new new rig is on the train to be being dated.. no wait, its already boarded and loaded! BAH!!
Cupboard 13th September 2007, 08:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Queelis
Current P35 motherboards claim support for upcoming Penryn processors, so they should be socket 775 :)

Does that mean my socket 775 NF4 won't be able to cope with 45nm processors, even with a bios update? Apart from the manufacturing techniques, and a change in clock speed/core numbers etc talking to them can't be that different can it?
mmorgue 13th September 2007, 08:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
This, in turn, will lead to faster, cooler processors

"cooler" actually makes me think proper cold. Which isn't the case. Should say, "less hot" -- more acurate :)
devdevil85 13th September 2007, 16:24 Quote
Will the Yorkfield quad-cores be native like Phenom?
DarkLord7854 13th September 2007, 23:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devdevil85
Will the Yorkfield quad-cores be native like Phenom?

I'm pretty sure I heard that native quad core is later in 08 for Intel
devdevil85 13th September 2007, 23:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
I'm pretty sure I heard that native quad core is later in 08 for Intel
So AMD still has an "edge" so to say....in core design....
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