Intel Microchip Packs Two Billion Transistors

Feb 04, 2008 by Lisa Zyga weblog
Tukwila Chip
Intel´s Tukwila chip contains more than 2 billion transistors - twice the number from two years ago.

Intel has just announced the first microchip that contains more than two billion transistors - tiny switches that together perform the calculations in computers. The chip, known as Tukwila, marks a milestone in chip density technology.

Intel explains that the quad-core chip is designed for high-end servers rather than personal computers. Many of the chip´s two billion transistors are used for on-board memory, helping the system process data faster. According to a news report by the BBC, the chip is based on 65-nanometer technology, meaning it contains features just 65 nanometers wide.

A chip with two billion transistors was not unexpected by the industry, as the new density closely follows Moore´s Law. The law states that the number of transistors on a chip seems to double every two years, which was originally observed by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965.

Sure enough, in 2006, Intel released the first chip to contain more than one billion transistors. In 2004, the leading chip of the day contained 592 million transistors. Tukwila´s successor, the "Poulson," is expected to be released sometime between 2010 and 2011.

Intel plans to begin implementing the first version of Tukwila in the second half of 2008, when it will replace Intel´s previous dual-core chip, the 9100 series called Montvale. Tukwila will double the overall performance of Montvale as measured by industry standards, with a 25% increase in power.

Unlike most newer chips, Tukwila is not designed as a low power consumption processor. Instead, Intel is aiming the chip at companies that demand high performance at the expense of more power.

Tukwila operates at speeds of up to 2 GHz, the equivalent of a standard PC chip. (The fastest chip, released last year by Intel, operates at 4.7 GHz. This dual-core chip, called Power6, contains 790 million transistors.)

Intel will demonstrate Tukwila, as well as a chip designed for "ultra-mobile" devices called Silverthorne, at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco this week.

via: the BBC and ZD Net

Explore further: US spy agency patents car seat for kids

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Designing exascale computers

Jul 23, 2014

"Imagine a heart surgeon operating to repair a blocked coronary artery. Someday soon, the surgeon might run a detailed computer simulation of blood flowing through the patient's arteries, showing how millions ...

Spintronic interconnect modeling for beyond-CMOS computing

Jun 04, 2014

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers collaborating with and sponsored by Intel Corporation through the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) have developed a physics-based modeling platform that advances spintronics ...

Researchers speculate on computers of the future

May 28, 2014

Computing experts at Sandia National Laboratories have launched an effort to help discover what computers of the future might look like, from next-generation supercomputers to systems that learn on their ...

Intel mobile chip strategy could prove costly

Jul 10, 2013

Just when Intel Corp. finally is making real progress in the desperate push to get its chips into smartphones and tablets, the tech titan finds itself in a Catch-22.

Recommended for you

Microsoft unveils Xbox in China as it faces probe

9 hours ago

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

10 hours ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

10 hours ago

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

13 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

plasma_guy
not rated yet Feb 11, 2008
Lots of politics behind this Itanium development.

http://www.theinq...uabbling