Intel Eyes 10nm Chips as 14nm Hits Market
At the ISSCC show, Intel engineers will talk about the gains made with their 14nm Broadwell chips and that Moore's Law will continue through 7nm.Intel engineers are coming to this year's ISSCC conference with the message that the company's work on 14-nanometer processor development is paying dividends, and that they can continue to meet the demands of Moore's Law as they continue to shrink the chips over the next several years. Over three days at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco starting Feb. 23, Intel engineers will present five papers—with most focusing on technologies found within the 14nm processors—while Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow for logic technology development at Intel, will participate in a panel to talk about driving Moore's Law down to 10nm and beyond. In a conference call with journalists and analysts days before the show began, Bohr noted the increasing costs involved in chip development, saying that reducing those costs is important if work on new generations of chips is to continue. However, what Intel has accomplished in its development of the 14nm chips and what it can do over the next several years—10nm and 7nm processors—are proof points that Moore's Law still has legs, despite some in the industry who have said it is reaching the end of the road. "Innovation has always been important to the scaling process," Bohr said, noting such technological breakthroughs as FinFET (what Intel calls its Tri-Gate 3D transistor architecture) and High-K Metal Gate. "It's an indispensible part of what we do."
Moore's Law started off as a prediction in 1965 by Intel founder Gordon Moore, who said that the number of transistors on a chip would double about every 18 months. Over the decades, it has been the driving force behind Intel's development, with the number of transistors continuing to grow even as the size of the chips themselves has shrunk, leading to computing devices—from smartphones to servers—that run faster and consume less energy.