Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Penryn Arrives: Intel at 45 nm

Is this the first production 45 nm chip? Penryn Arrives: Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Review It kind of snuck up on me. Intel is firing on all cylinders for the last year or two. Nice architecture, and a full process node ahead of AMD.

The secret sauce in their 45 nm recipe is "HK+MG", for High-K dielectric and Metal Gate. Cool stuff, this High-K addresses the huge problem of gate leakage as the process scales down. The power reduction claims are very impressive.

One nit that's always bothered me is that we all design in CMOS, and the "M" in CMOS stands for Metal. But the gate hasn't been metal in ages! Now it is metal again and it's a novelty. What is old is now new again.

Also, take a look at the die shot. That's two duplicate cores and a huge cache. Hey come on Intel, design some real gates, like the Graphics companies do! :-)

1 comment:

Sandeep said...

hmmm.. well u can have this round - the 8800GT is kicking butt in every review I read.