Smaller is better, certainly for notebook computers and their processors. However, the bane of low-power chips has been current leakage, a problem that drains away much of the energy savings on smaller processors.
Intel engineers last week announced a breakthrough aimed at minimizing this leakage at the International Workshop on Gate Insulator.
The improvements will be introduced into Intels lines when it begins manufacturing microprocessors with a 45-nanometer process in 2007, according to company officials. At that time, the use of a high-dielectric-constant (or high-k) material will help prevent battery packs from draining their charge when not being used.
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