Intel has unveiled its latest chip-making technology, which it claims can create faster, smaller processors.
The chip giant said that it has combined higher performance, lower power transistors, strained silicon and high-speed copper interconnects into its new 90 nanometer manufacturing process.
Intel said that it is the first time that all these technologies have been combined into a single process.
The lower power transistors will have a gate length of only 50 nanometers, which the company claimed will be the smallest, highest performing CMOS transistors in production.
By comparison, the most advanced transistors in production today, found in Intel Pentium 4 processors, measure 60 nanometers.
The new transistors feature gate oxides just five atomic layers thick (1.2 nanometers). A thin gate oxide increases transistor speed.
Intel has also integrated its own implementation of high-performance strained silicon into the new process.
By using strained silicon, current flows more smoothly, thereby increasing the speed of the transistors. This will be the first process in the industry to implement strained silicon in production.
One of the first commercial chips to be made on this process, codenamed Prescott, will be launched in the second half of 2003.
Dr Sunlin Chou, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group, said: "While some are slowly transitioning production to a 130 nanometer [0.13 micron] process on 200mm wafers, we are moving ahead with the most advanced 90 nanometer technology exclusively on 300mm wafers.
"This combination will allow Intel to make better products and reduce manufacturing costs."
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