Intel today announced a new method of creating transistor materials which reportedly allows for cooler and more efficient processors.
The traditional silicon dioxide material that forms the gate dielectric of a transistor is prone to power leakage. This limits the extent to which processors can continue to be manufactured in ever decreasing sizes.
According to Ken David, Intel's co-director of components research for the Technology Manufacturing Group, the company will use a new 'high-k' material to make the dielectric gates. Unlike the current leaky silicon dioxide technology, high-k materials can be shrunk to smaller sizes yet still retain their ability to stop leakage. According to David, this is necessary to keep processor technology advancing at a steady rate.
"[High-k] will continue to scale to Moore's Law," said David at a press conference. It will not be limited solely to processors; rather it "is extensible to other technologies".
The new technology is a significant step for Intel to bring its chips down to a 45nm die size in the next few years.
"Intel is on track to put this new transistor design into production in 2007," stated David.