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|26th December 2008, 11:05||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Under the Hood: Intel's 45-nm high-k metal-gate process
On Nov. 12, Intel shipped the first 45-nanometer microprocessors using high-k metal-gate technology. Whether to underscore the significance of the event or to reinforce that his famous law remains on track, Gordon Moore has become a central figure in the marketing of Intel's 45-nm technology. Moore describes the innovations as "the biggest change in transistor technology since the introduction of polysilicon-gate MOS transistors in the late 1960s." Even Time magazine recognized the Intel Penryn microprocessor as one of the best inventions of 2007.
But there is substance behind the hype. The silicon semiconductor industry is deeply in love with polysilicon. It's just too hard to let go of this workhorse; in fact, many manufacturers won't do so until the 32-nm node. Intel has a reputation for introducing new technology sooner than the rest of the industry, and its 45-nm processor is no exception.
The transistor engineering that Intel has achieved largely, but not exclusively, by incorporating high-k metal gate—HkMG, as it is often tagged—is a huge leap forward.
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