Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Breakthrough in chip making or hype?
John Markoff, "Intel Claims Breakthrough in Chip Making," New York Times, November 5, 2003. Available online. (accessed today, free registration required).
David Lammers, "Intel plans high-k gate to stem wasted power,"EE Times, November 5, 2003. Available online. (accessed today).

It's actually unclear whether or not this is enough of a breakthrough to warrant Intel's boasts. It appears that this research is similar to what's being conducted in several labs around the country with high-k materials. Basically, the idea is that when you try to put more and more gates on a chip by thinning the silicon dioxide insulation layer, tunnelling occurs which causes energy loss. A better insulator would allow for more gates in the same volume.

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