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Intel Makes 45nm Chip

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the it-is-wafer-thin dept.

Intel 249

dolphinlover writes "Intel announced today that it created its first microchip using the 45 nanometer manufacturing process that it says will go into its processors in the second half of 2007. Intel said that this development provides it with a 'considerable lead over our competitors in the 45-nanometer generation'."

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Says You (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563793)


Intel said that this development provides it with a 'considerable lead over our competitors in the 45-nanometer generation'."

Which means, what?

Predicitons for the next 18 months:

  • Intel announces sucessful 45nm chip test, announces planned production for late 2007
  • In mid-2006 AMD announces they have been quietly busy and production of 45nm chips to begin in 4th quarter.
  • In November AMD is shipping quad core 45nm chips.
  • Intel board scramble all resources to get chips out (even if at a trickle) ASAP, just get some damn thing out there, NOW!
  • From hardware sites AMD chips receive rave reviews, slaying all competition and making overclockers wet their pants with joy.
  • First Intel chips are tested and found to contain scarcely updated processors which still don't talk to each other very fast, run slow and, once again, are clocked so high you need a big fan and heat sink.
  • Dell announce they are so pleased with Intel they're not going to use AMD chips (at all/any more.)
  • In subsequent months Intel make improvements, now that they have a market presence, but watch their market share drop to 70% or lower.

i think it's somehow related to moore's law

Re:Says You (4, Interesting)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563814)

I heard that AMD will be shipping their first 65nm products in late 2006 and have heard nothing about 45nm production.

Re:Says You (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563938)

AMD has a co-development agreement with IBM and is planning to introduce 45nm parts in 2008.

Re:Says You (3, Interesting)

OpiumSniper (710266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564261)

Yes, when AMD came to my school 45 nm was set for 2008, 65nm for later this year I believe.

Re:Says You (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564616)

So they'll be a year behind with 65nm and a year behind with 45nm?

Re:Says You (-1, Redundant)

dextromulous (627459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563829)

I'm not sure you have any idea how difficult it is to move to a smaller manufacturing process. Maybe you should do your homework before you go about wildly speculating that AMD can pull a 45nm chip out of their ass before the end of the year.

Re:Says You (5, Interesting)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563830)

Unlike other fields, production ramps in semiconductor manufacturing are pretty easy to spot... the amount of new machinery and construction associated with a new process being deployed to a facility are hard to hide, and it's all over the trade press 18 months before stuff starts shipping typically.

AMD has traditionally been behind Intel on the bleeding edge fab stuff. Intel's dominated the fab tech race by six months or so for years and years. That is not changing here, as far as anyone I know of can see. AMD using SOI sort of blurs the line here, but in terms of process shrinks and the like Intel's ahead.

AMD's chips being better performers despite being behind some in chip fab is an important feature. But roadmaps based on imaginary pixie dust, in an industry where fabs cost $4 billion or so, are a waste of time even on slashdot.

Re:Says You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564362)

SOI?

I tried Wikipedia, but only found out that soi is thai for sidestreet. :(

Re:Says You (5, Informative)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564444)

Silicon On Insulator; see the silicon on insulator [wikipedia.org] wikipedia entry for a high level summary, or google the phrase for more details.

Basically, instead of a solid slab of silicon on which you fab chip components, you put a solid slab of an insulator (sapphire / alumina for example; see silicon on sapphire [wikipedia.org] wikipedia entry) down and then an insulating silicon oxide layer, and then a thin layer of silicon on which you fab the parts. Since what's under the parts is insulator, rather than more semiconductor, it reduces the energy of switching and reduces the time to switch a transistor. Also reduces radiation effects on the semiconductor and other good stuff.

Re:Says You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564563)

Thank you. It's certainly a nice explanation when I sort of understand instead of totally don't.

Re:Says You (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14563834)

I think you need to read the 5-point comments from this popular Slashdot story from earlier today:

Re:Says You (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563922)

"In mid-2006 AMD announces they have been quietly busy and production of 45nm chips to begin in 4th quarter."

i.e. waiting to get a leak from intel so they have a clue about what they need to do.

Re:Says You (5, Informative)

uujjj (752925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563943)

AMD is nearly a full year behind Intel rolling out 65nm. Intel began volume production at 65nm last summer; AMD will be ramping up in the middle of this year.

While the parent may be joking, down below you'll find a lot of posts from AMD fanboys insisting that AMD must somehow be ahead. These fanboys are as clueless as the average tech magazine reporter. You can be quite certain that AMD will not be ramping up 45nm before Intel.

Re:Says You (1)

Kaladis Nefarian (655671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564034)

Cheesus christ man, stop saying ramping up, *please*.

Re:Says You (2, Informative)

uujjj (752925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564088)

"ramp up" is a common term in industry and elsewhere. it means indicates a company's acceleration of the rate of production. i don't quite understand the problem. it's like complaining "Cheesus christ man, stop saying the, *please*"

Re:Says You (1)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564269)

If Intel began volume production at 65nm last summer, why are we just now seeing a 65nm processor? Does it really take that long from production to retail sale?

Re:Says You (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564749)

No, it doesn't take that long; everybody is lying. Intel started 65nm on Christmas when Santa dropped them down the chimney where the bunny suits live.

Duh.

Re:Says You (1, Flamebait)

jonesy16 (595988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563953)

Ah how I love shortsighted fanboys. What the hell has AMD ever been Intel to the market with? I can think of one thing, 64-bit extensions to an x86 processor, and Intel's implementation didn't have any bugs in it.

The pure size of Intel allows it to stay ahead in terms of manufacturing techniques and volume, much the same way that IBM stayed at the top for years in development. AMD does a remarkable job of making up for that by using more efficient processor designs though, but we'll see where both stand at the end of '06, cause the industry is sensing a change in the wind . . . even if slashdot can't smell it.

Re:Says You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564096)

You meant "beaten to the market", right?
First 1GHz x86 CPU. That was AMD. Kind of a big one not to remember... fanboy.

Re:Says You (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564525)

Well, they had the fastest 80386 too. That was really famous as it broke the AMD-Intel joint production agreement. I can also think of the dropping of the frontside bus, which Intel still has not done.

Re:Says You (1)

doublebackslash (702979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564237)

They also were the first ot introduce dual core cpus in which each core can talk to the other via a direct link instead of the system bus and they were to first to include a memory controller onboard their processors. They also have more registers than any other x86 processor, even more in 64 bit mode (those few extras go a long way, belive me). They are figting an 800lb gorilla, they must win with brains, and I believe they have that in spades. I am certain the race will get intreresting in the next few years, but I feel that Intel cannot change direction fast enough to get out of some of their mistakes. Look how long they have kept netburst, despite superior technology in their Centrino processors. They seem to focus on the wrong improvements. That may all change, but I have a feeling that with their new VIIV (say 'vive') chipsets they will only serve to bing more bloat and latency to their allready crowded and busy chips. I wish them luck, it will spur innovation, but they are in a hole right now. Then again one new chip is all it might take to turn the tides, both in Pr and in tech. I wait with bated breath for both camps to make a big move.

Re:Says You (2, Informative)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564677)

Intel is succeeding Netburst with Merom and Conroe later this year. Viiv is just a marketing name for a list of minimum system specifications for multimedia computers that happens to use a bunch of Intel-branded parts. It's unrelated to their chips.

As for who is in the hole, AMD is a year behind both 65nm and 45nm, and the Yonah is a laptop chip competing performance-wise with AMD's desktop processors. 'nuff said.

Those extra registers in 64-bit don't go that long a way (about 5%-10% on average last I checked the benchmarks). A lot of the 64-bit performance comes from the fact apps in 64-bit mode know that their chip will have at least SSE, which speeds things up. A 32-bit app optimized with SSE instructions can compete with 64-bit performance, since 64-bit is slowed down with the cache bloat and increased pointer size. 64-bit is hype designed to sell chips. It's not needed unless you actually have to access more than 4GB of RAM.

This is a benefit for the Intel Macs, whose baseline will always be the Core Duo that has SSE3, meaning all apps will be compiled with support for it, 64-bit or not. Until you need more than 4GB of RAM, 64-bit is overrated buzz that offers little.

Re:Says You (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564216)

Talk about fanboi's. People like you are the reason why I'm getting tired of reading Slashdot (not to mention OLD news). If AMD is SO far superior in price, performance and reliability, why have they been so far behind for so many years. Big deal they finally broke 10%, IT'S TEN PERCENT! That's nothing! AMD is a joke that has been allowed to continue to stay in business so Intel doesn't have to worry about antitrust issues as much. Get over it and your iPod.

Re:Says You (1)

Firewalker_Midnights (943814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564412)

I don't know about you... But I think that things might actually go this way, which is scarry. So do you think you can give me a winner for the Superbowl? I could use the extra money XD

I must need glasses (0, Redundant)

punxking (721508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563804)

When I first read the headline I thought it said a 45mm chip, which is considerably less impressive.

Re:I must need glasses (1, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563845)

"When I first read the headline I thought it said a 45mm chip, which is considerably less impressive"

I thought they invented a 45mm clip. No man, take my wallet, I don't want intel inside.

Re:I must need glasses (1)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563867)

Talk about your Smart Bullets...

+- 0 Joke (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563917)

You and me both - brother!

See further down on this thread.

This new format is making the news,( I guess this is the thought,) flow so fast, that we really can't think about what the fuck we're going to say. I'm finding that I'm staying away more often because I can't contribute anything worthwhile. . Yeah, yeah, I'm here now. The wife is out and I'm sipping vodka and reading /. and my grammar is going down the tubes with my spelling.

To the Mod's - I've set myself up to be "Flamed" - please don't mod people who respond to me. - THANK YOU!!!!

Re:I must need glasses (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563923)

When I first read the headline I thought it said a 45mm chip, which is considerably less impressive.

Not really. Creating a >2000 mm^2 chip without any flaws, with the expectation of being able to eventually make a profit on them in the consumer market, would be quite an accomplishment. Such a large die area would not only result in low yields, but present serious obstacles in power consumption and heat dissipation.

For comparison, the Pentium IV 600 series has a 135 mm^2 die area. If I'm not mistaken, yields fall exponentially, so no only would they be able to produce only 6% as many chips on a wafer, but could also expect a greatly lower number of working ones from the total.

Jobs's strategy? (4, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563838)

Perhaps this what Steve Jobs referred to when he talked about the efficiency of future chips in Intel's roadmap?

Re:Jobs's strategy? (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563907)

Very bad strategy then.

Intel is seriously droping out of being serious contestant in current technology for quite some time now. It's just like droping a ball to get it back in one of the next few seasons, hopefully other team will remember your showing of good will, act then just as you did now and now fight back. Yeah, right.

Re:Jobs's strategy? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564489)

Intel is seriously droping out of being serious contestant in current technology for quite some time now.

Uh...do you have any points to back up this assertion? Intel's future roadmap is ahead of AMD's. AMD doesn't even have 65nm chips out, and Intel is already talking about their 45nm plans. It actually looks like, for 2006 at least, it's AMD that's behind.

How is Intel "seriously droping out?" They're already ahead.

Re:Jobs's strategy? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564664)

"Intel is seriously droping out of being serious contestant in current technology for quite some time now."

Not in the laptop space.

Re:Jobs's strategy? (3, Insightful)

richman555 (675100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563974)

I beleive so, as much as AMD fan would like to admit, Intel has the upper hand for future chips. I guess the deciding factors for success will be raw speed vs. overall processing (more cores) vs. low power (portablility). I think with this past years increase of laptop sales, it shows that these people have a little more in mind than just having the fasted possible processor. The decline of the desktop is coming, and Intel seems to be ready.

Re:Jobs's strategy? (0, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564692)

I beleive so, as much as AMD fan would like to admit, Intel has the upper hand for future chips.

And now we see the reason behind AMD's lawsuit. If you can't beat 'em, desperately sue 'em to make them look bad.

Re:Jobs's strategy? (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564756)

No. The deciding factors will be power, heat and board space. The data centers are running out of power and cooling and floor space. Desktops are not the be all of the market. I think soon you'll see desktop and server chips diverging in architecture and speeds.

Re:Jobs's strategy? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564304)

I am only hoping Steve Jobs hasn't announced when he could get 4G CPU from intel, otherwise there will be no 4G CPU at all.

An inefficient Intel is still faster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564499)

...than an effficient IBM/PowerPC offering.

Re:Jobs's strategy? (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564561)

In particular Jobs was talking about the descendants of the Pentium M - the Core series of processor, which offer excellent performance at lower power consumption. Which is evidenced by the usage of the Core processor in both of Apple's current Intel based products.
The Pentium M came expanded on the Pentium 3's design, rather than going for the "more GHz is better" approach that the Pentium 4 did. It is more efficient than a Pentium 4 of the same clock speed and uses less power.

Why do they always screw up Moores Law (5, Informative)

rminsk (831757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563839)

The new chip makes good on Moore's Law, an industry maxim set forth by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that stipulates the number of transistors on a chip -- and therefore its processing power -- doubles roughly every 18 months to two years.
Who added the "and therefore its processing power" to the quote? Was it the reporter or someone from Intel? Moores law has nothing to do with processing power.

Re:Why do they always screw up Moores Law (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563927)

Double the transistors means double the number of cores and double the cache, which means (roughly) double the processing power. It doesn't sound too wrong to me. Now the focus is more on having lots of cores and less on clock speed, Moore's law might well gain that corollary.

Re:Why do they always screw up Moores Law (2, Informative)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563993)

double the number of cores? me thinks not. If that was the case, we'd have 32-core processors bye now -- which, needless to say, we don't.

Re:Why do they always screw up Moores Law (1)

shrewd (830067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564124)

we do have 32 core processors, they aren't available on your average street corner though....

Re:Why do they always screw up Moores Law (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563981)

Who added the "and therefore its processing power" to the quote? Was it the reporter or someone from Intel? Moores law has nothing to do with processing power.

In popular science, Moore's law is used to describe anything that resembles exponential growth. Not only that, it is applied without regards to whether the underlying technology scales in an exponential way, as long as it appears to have done so for a certain period of time, meaning whichever period gives the desired results. "Computers" and any part thereof seem to qualify on historical merit. Transistor count? Clock speed? HDD size? Take your pick. In this case I presume the journalist felt people didn't know what transistor count meant - but sorta drew the conclusion that it is related to performance or something - at least the Intel people talked about it alot, so it must be important...

Re:Why do they always screw up Moores Law (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564403)

And are they still under the impression that it's a law? Despite the name, it's just an observation that's held true for quite some time. It's not like gravity is going to stop working if the earth gets lazy, unlike transistor count and engineers. In any case, it didn't even start at 18 months per doubling, it was just settled there after going from 12 to 24 (or the other way around).

Re:Why do they always screw up Moores Law (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564506)

Right, it has to do with the increase in transistors, AS STATED IN THE FREAKING QUOTE. The end result is typically an increase in processing power, hence the "therefore" phrase stating such. All factually correct.

Methinks you're just being pointlessly anal retentive for mod points' sake.

Re:Why do they always screw up Moores Law (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564759)

Who added the "and therefore its processing power" to the quote? Was it the reporter or someone from Intel? Moores law has nothing to do with processing power.
Moore's law has everything to do with processing power.. Transistor count is related to processing power in the same way the number of bricks are related to the size of a house. You can get a larger house out of the same number of bricks if you design it well, but more bricks means a larger house.

We win! (3, Insightful)

pat_trick (218868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563840)

Yes, by announcing that we have made one chip at 45nm, we obviously win! ...nevermind that it probably doesn't actually run anything. We haven't made a motherboard for it yet.

Re:We win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14563909)

It is obvious intel can do no right with all the drooling amd fanboys... Why do people like to attach themselves to corperation? Buy their products, don't buy them but do not sink to zealotry. It simply makes you look silly. Both companies exist for one reason to sell.

Re:We win! (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564041)

The also announced that they've shipped 1M of core duo chips.

Obviously, both announcements are trying to stop the stock fall [yahoo.com] (which started when Intel announced that they haven't hit the sales predictions). Not that AMD doesn't do the same, they've used the same trick several times just like any company.

It's how capitalism works: People is free to invest were they want and do what they wan but what happens if we try to influence what people wants?

(By the way is ironic how capitalism is good because it allow companies to have more freedom to do things in their "system" but freedom is being limited in the US for "security purposes". I'd guess that if I'd propose to take away some of the freedom that capitalism has to fix some of the problesm the world has like poverty etc people would call me communist or something)

Re:We win! (1)

bipolarpinguino (944613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564510)

Workers of the world unite!

Re:We win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564534)

Ah, another angry AMD fanboy makes "funny" anti-Intel conjecture to please the mods. Meanwhile, AMD has yet to even get around to 65nm.

Yes, Virginia, chip manufacturers like Intel make roadmaps far into the future (all the way up to 2011 in this article).

Holy shit!!! (3, Funny)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563846)

A 45 Nautical Mile Chip! Where the fuck are they going to put it?!?

Whaaa? n.m.? Nano Meee....whaaa??

Oopps! Sorry!

Yes, Ladies and Gnetlemen, (0, Offtopic)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563977)

there is "TROLL" moderators who do not get a FUCKING joke!

EVEN though IT IS on TOPIC!!!

Don't like my puncuation? Well, talk to the /. owners.

Re:Holy shit!!! (1)

holywarrior21c (933929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564249)

you are asshole... bump....again...

Moore's Law (1)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564397)

You see, Intel has a cunning plan to pepetuate Moore's Law. By making chips 45 nautical miles across, they can keep doubling the number of transistors for a very long time.

What about AMDs 45nm??? (0, Redundant)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563854)

Intel said that this development provides it with a 'considerable lead over our competitors in the 45-nanometer generation'

Recent news says AMD is readying 45nm for production now, or last I read it did. That might have been in december, so I don't know if it's still current. If it is then it seems Intel is behind the 8 ball again and this is hype.

Re:What about AMDs 45nm??? (5, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563924)

I think you'll find that it was 65nm which AMD were readying for production, which Intel have been using since last year. Yet AMD Desktop cores at 90nm with SOI still manage to outperform, underconsume power, and underemmit heat compared to their counterparts.

It just goes to show that design does play a part in making a chip, and not trying to cram as many transistors as one can onto a die.

Re:What about AMDs 45nm??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564539)

yes and no .

even though static power consumption was a significant issue in 90 , it becomes really huge in 65 and below. what intel is saying is that they have understood the issue and have a very good grasp of the solutions needed to mitigate it .

no matter how good your design team may be .. clock gating/powergating/multi supply/multi threshold etc can save you only so much without adversely affecting performance. in 65 and below you really do need to have you your transistors profile changing ever so delicately to strike that performance tradeoff and AMD is way behind in understanding these next gen relations in comparison to intel.

next gen is a lot more than about craming in more transistors.

Re:What about AMDs 45nm??? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564580)

The dual-core Yonah consumes less power at 100% usage than the Athlon64 3800+ X2 does when idle while competing with it performance-wise. A low-power mobile Intel chip competing with a high-end desktop chip from AMD. Good design, indeed. The Merom chip coming later this year is actually expected to almost half power usage compared to Yonah, which is even more impressive. AMD has yet to get around to 65nm. It's clear 2006 is swinging toward Intel (as much as the AMD fans on Slashdot hate to hear it).

Re:What about AMDs 45nm??? (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563973)

Wow, the AMD fanboys are out in force tonight. From this source [computerworld.com.au] , which is three months old and so relatively recent:
  • AMD's new fab, Fab 36, supports 300mm wafers (like Intels have for some time).
  • It uses a 90nm process (Intel and IBM have been on 65nm for some time).
  • It will transition to 65nm by the end of 2006.
  • It will use 45nm and 32nm processes by the end of the decade.
It doesn't really sound like Intel is playing catch-up here.

Re:What about AMDs 45nm??? (1)

AllInOne (236413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564275)

They may not be playing catch-up but Intel used to ignore the competition. Now they have to have press releases that acknowledge the competion: "considerable lead over our competitors".

Sounds like they are at least looking over their shoulders at AMD to me.

Or maybe even trying to speak to investors to prop up the stock price...

Less than stellar design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564356)

It's good that Intel is ahead in shrinking and speeding up their CPUs, since their CPUs are not as well-designed as AMD's. Why do you think that an AMD CPU beats an Intel CPU at the same GHz?

Re:Less than stellar design (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564605)

I'd rather have a Core Duo laptop right not than a single core Turion. Of course we'll have to see how it breaks down later this year when we see a dual core mobile processor from AMD.
Of course the Turion is 64 bit, but if you are a Windows desktop user that doesn't count for much at this point in time.

Re:Less than stellar design (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564651)

Why do you think that an AMD CPU beats an Intel CPU at the same GHz?

You have nothing to back up your "not as well-designed as AMDs" claim with regard to Yonah/Merom/Conroe. AMD is going 65nm way at the end of 2006, a year behind Intel, who will be going into 2007 with 45nm plans (a year before AMD).

Re:What about AMDs 45nm??? (2, Informative)

mczak (575986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564656)

(Intel and IBM have been on 65nm for some time)
You're right about intel (though "for some time" seems a bit exaggerated if you only count shipping products - something like a month). intel really is ahead 6 month. However, IBM is not using 65nm tech with any of its shipping products (that I'm aware of). In fact, their power5 only transitioned to 90nm very recently, though the powerpc g5 transitioned to 90nm somewhat earlier than AMD transitioned their chips to 90nm I believe. Some time ago rumours said the first dual-core g5 chip would be 65nm (the powerpc 976) but obviously this was just that - an unsubstantiated rumour, the powerpc g5 dual-core materialized as a 90nm chip (970mp).

Re:What about AMDs 45nm??? (0, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564567)

If it is then it seems Intel is behind the 8 ball again and this is hype.

Only in the Magic Land in the minds of AMD fanboys where AMD is the king of the land with a beautiful queen by his side and Intel is the dastardly wizard trapped in the tower with giant trees ruining his shit. Meanwhile in Reality Land, AMD has yet to get around to 65nm, Intel's low-power mobile chips are competing with high-end AMD desktop chips, and Intel's roadmap already has 45nm on the horizon. But right, anything to make a quick conclusion in a Slashdot post so you can claim Intel is behind and this is hype, in order to restore your holy AMD faith!

I think the big question is... (1)

Corbu Mulak (931063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563862)

how much more will this cost?

Re:I think the big question is... (1)

thaerin (937575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563963)

You know the old saying, "If you have to ask ..."

Re:I think the big question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564231)

No, the real question is; How much more than AMD's superior competing product will this cost? :P

Re:I think the big question is... (1)

Azreal (147961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564491)

Techinically, given the same wafer size, a die shrink means a higher yield per wafer. What this is supposed to result in is lower costs, but this is Intel we're talking about.

Eh. (3, Insightful)

anderm7 (68050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563863)

I'll believe it when they start yielding these things at greater numbers than one, on chips with a high SRAM and logic density.

New chip (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14563885)

...and it's called the Invisa! And it stores 1,000,000 songs!

Aren't we getting close to the Theoretical Limit? (4, Interesting)

Anna Merikin (529843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563895)

Unless I misplaced a decimal point or misunderstand physics, isn't 45 nm only a very few generations from needing connections only one molecule thick?

Re:Aren't we getting close to the Theoretical Limi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14563970)

Actually the instulators are atoms thick....

Re:Aren't we getting close to the Theoretical Limi (5, Informative)

uujjj (752925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563988)

molecule? This is a crystal we are talking about, so the entire wafer is a "molecule". An atom of Si is about .3nm across.

Re:Aren't we getting close to the Theoretical Limi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564020)

When nanotube-based transistors become a reality, "one molecule thick" won't be a problem. The electrons just flow through the molecules instead of on top of them.

Re:Aren't we getting close to the Theoretical Limi (2, Informative)

WallaceAndGromit (910755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564166)

Most molecules are a few to a few dozen angstroms thick (from here [wikipedia.org] ), and 45 nm is [google.com] 450 angstrom. So there is about another factor of 10 till we get down to the size of complex molecules. However, I do believe that most of the "stuff" used in the manufacture of chips are either pure elements or simple molecules, which are much smaller (varying from 1 to 5 angstrom [wikipedia.org] )..

Yes, but no... (2, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564240)

From one molecule thick? We're far from that.

But we ARE only a few more generations from hitting a rather thick wall: at the 5nm, electrons begin jumping _through_ the insulators to a nearby circuit. So while we're far away from the molecular level, we're still getting closer and closer every day to a very real limit. We should be able to push it down to 4nm with a little extra engineering....but as far a I know, thats going to be it. Anyone else want to comment?

Speaking of Theoretical Limits... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564306)

Mr. Scott. To put it another way -- how big would one of your gates have to be, with a 300 mm wafer, to resolve properly using your current method of lithography?

Intel Exec. That's easy. Six molecules. We have stuff that big in stock.

Mr. Scott. Well, suppose I could show you a way to build a gate that could do the same job -- but be only one molecule thick. Would that be worth somethin' to ye?

Intel Exec. You must be joking.

Dr. McCoy. Perhaps the professor could use your computer...

[Later]

Dr. McCoy. [Whispering] You realize that by giving him the formula we're altering the future.

Mr. Scott. How do we know he didn't invent the thing?

Dr. McCoy. [Smiling] Yeah.

45nm wang? (3, Funny)

camzmac (889291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563947)

Intel's marketing campaign: Smaller than AMD!

Wait...

Re:45nm wang? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564497)

It's not the size that matters, it's the length of the pipeline...

CNET News article has important additional details (4, Informative)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563956)

Here's a link to CNET News's article on this same news:
One interesting (to me) bit of info from the CNET News article:
The 45-nanometer process could become particularly interesting because many chip designers believe it will be one of the more difficult transitions in years. The power consumption and performance requirements of these chips will be extremely high and chipmakers are being forced to add exotic materials and new structures to their transistors to ensure the chips function properly...

"It does get a little more challenging every time, but we come up with new technology and tricks to keep things going," said Bohr.

If a company botches the process, it could lead to product delays or recalls. Some chipmakers faced these problems during the transition to 130-nanometer chips when they swapped aluminum for copper for making interconnects--the tiny wires inside chips.

Although Intel might have a "considerable lead over our competitors in the 45-nanometer generation," it doesn't appear that this transition is expected to go as smoothly as their transtion to 65nm (which seems very smooth). Remember Intel's and IBM's difficult transitions to 90nm.

Re:CNET News article has important additional deta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564373)

CNet botched that reasoning. Given the same frequency and number of transistors in a chip, the new process would yield chips that run at lower power consumption, not higher.

The reason power consumption [often] increases for chips made with the smaller processes is because for a given amount of silicon real estate, such chips will have a higher transistor count and can usually be pushed run at a higher frequencies, both of which increase power consumption.

45 nanometers? (0, Troll)

TimTheFoolMan (656432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563976)

The best distance achieved in the "Frustrated iPod Owners Tossing Contest"?

Tim

Re:45 nanometers? (0, Troll)

holywarrior21c (933929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564284)

what? . . . . ipods are crap,, i would throw 45 yards...

Troll? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564452)

I was thinking his joke was that an ipod "nano" got tossed 45 meters. Which while not terribly funny, is somewhat clever; at the very least not a troll. I would have read it as trolling if he were trying to say that ipod owners could only throw something 45 nanometers... which is just too lame a joke to possibly be intentional.

Not necessarily funny... But Troll?

Can't say I'm surprised... (5, Funny)

themysteryman73 (771100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14563995)

I can't say this is surprising news, there's been talk of 45nm chips for a while now, so I suppose the time has finally come when someone makes one. At the same time, it's still early tech so what are we supposed to do with this news?
"Hey, Intel's making 45nm chips!"
"Yum, what flavour?"
"Er... Internets?"

Seriously though, I know this is a step forward, but someone tell me when either vendor starts actual production on these chips

Yeah but... (0, Redundant)

Subrafta (848399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564038)

Can they use it to make a dual-core that doesn't depend on the front side bus?

Doing the hard work (5, Interesting)

ranton (36917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564219)

It seams to make sense that because Intel has the most money, that they can spend money on developing better manufacturing and engineering techniques than their competition. But with all of this extra money, and seamingly having better technological capabilities, AMD is still beating out Intel as far as performance.

Looks like Intel basically does all of the hard work figuring out how to do things for the first time, and AMD just has to wait until Intel is finished and then just learn from them. I of course know nothing about how to make processors, but it seams that this is the most plausible reason why Intel has trouble making chips that are as good as AMD.

This news about the 45nm manufacturing looks very bad for AMD, but I doubt it will matter very much. If Intel is doing it by the end of 2007, AMD will probably be doing it by first or second quarter 2008. And if history is any indicator, they will probably be doing it better. But I guess time will tell, maybe this 45nm technique really is too hard for a company without endless money to figure out.
--

Re:Doing the hard work (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564541)


As far as AMD outperforming an Intel chip.

they are no longer rated the same.

plus, you need a set of pratt & whitney jet engines to supply sufficient power to AMD chips.

Then, there's all that heat.

Re:Doing the hard work (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564745)

you need a set of pratt & whitney jet engines to supply sufficient power to AMD chips. Then, there's all that heat.

I run an AMD X2 3800+, an Nvidia GT6800 PCIe and three HD's (including two WD Raptors) off a 350W PSU, and I have exactly zero stability issues. Using a typical Zalman cooler, the CPU runs at about 45C under full load (two Folding@home instances). The GT6800 is miles ahead in the heating department compared to the X2.

Re:Doing the hard work (4, Interesting)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564720)

You're close but the biggest element is that AMD liscences a lot of their tech while Intel develops it.

AMD is part of a consortium of chip manufacturers (with SUN and IBM) who cross liscence to each other, everything from instruction sets to hypertransport, to NRAM, to SOI.

Intel probably has about the same number of people developing tech but they are trying to do their development in a very corperate way - This is what we need let's do it.

As opposed to AMD who can be a lot closer to pure science because they just liscence any tech that seems cool or is proven.

When we see crazy stuff on slashdot like the four gigabit optical memory or the 2 Gigahz CPU AMD is probably looking into that stuff while Intel research is most likely pretending it doesn't exist.

Re:Doing the hard work (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564731)

But with all of this extra money, and seamingly having better technological capabilities, AMD is still beating out Intel as far as performance.

That's no longer true. The Core Duo, a low-power laptop chip, keeps up with the Athlon64 3800+ X2. Damn impressive. Merom is expected to shift ahead even more dramatically.

I of course know nothing about how to make processors, but it seams that this is the most plausible reason why Intel has trouble making chips that are as good as AMD.

I've never understood the fanboyism for AMD on Slashdot. Intel has been making chips that compete with AMDs since last year. The Pentium 4 days are over. Would you rather have the Core Duo or the Turion in your laptop?

Right on schedule (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564268)

Intel's logic development is striving for a two-year cycle for each new process technology. This announcement of functional first-silicon (who knows how long they've actually had it) is part of that natural progression. Here's a table showing this announcement along with previous SRAM test chip announcements:

Process
Litho
Size
Date

P860
130 nm
18 Mbit
Mar 2000

P862
90 nm
50 Mbit
Feb 2002

P1264
65 nm
70 Mbit
Apr 2004

P1266
45 nm
153 Mbit
Jan 2006

Okay ... it's not a table...

Just cause I've never done it before... (1)

painQuin (626852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564274)

I for one welcome our new insanely small overlords.

It is a Chip not a CPU (2, Interesting)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564514)

Just to make sure, this is not a CPU chip using 45nm technology. This is a test vehicle which contained SRAM (static RAM) and some control logic. SRAM arrays are regular and don't have the same complexity as ALU (arithmetic logic unit) and other control circuits found in CPU. So yes this is a big step because it is gives some indication about how complicated will it be to get a good yield in this process. Also note that SRAM arrays can be easily made defect tolerant by using spare rows/columns. Same is not true for CPU cores. So there is still al long way to go before an efficient working CPU with production acceptable yield is available.

Re:It is a Chip not a CPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14564573)

Wait, does this mean Intel are going to make DDR2-SRAM chips?

Ok, can we just put more empty space in now? (5, Insightful)

fwitness (195565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564593)

Seriously? Can't I have a chip that runs relatively fast, does everything a modern computer is used for, sans games, and I *don't* have to water-cool? Something like what the VIA Epia series does, but with Intel's backing?

Is it just me, or is web-browsing and document writing fast enough? It seems like 99% of the time these days I just want something smaller and quieter. If I want pretty shiny games, I'll play them on my xbox390 or sumsuch. Sure you can make bunches of chips for gamers, but give me a slimline chip and I, like many others would flock to it.

I'm writing this on my 733Mhz laptop, bought for college way back when, and my typing fingers really don't recognize the lack of dual cores.

NM? (1)

ROFLMAObot (891386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14564718)

Newton Meters? I guess it makes sense. Intel always has been aiming for "raw power" now we see it in the form of torque.
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