Intel Claims New Materials Can Trim Consumption of Microprocessors by 90%

From X-bit Labs: The mix of new materials as well as P-channel and N-channel transistors can potentially enable Intel Corp. to build microprocessors that consume just 10% of today’s chips in future.

Intel recently disclosed advancement details on a P-channel transistor, built on a silicon substrate, that makes use of compound semiconductors, also known as III-V materials because they are made of elements that straddle silicon in the periodic table, silicon being in column IV. This research resulted in the highest performing P-channel transistors reported to date. A year earlier, Intel described III-V N-channel transistors, also built on a silicon substrate.

According to Intel, when combined, these two results could form the building blocks for CMOS logic circuits, which use both N-channel and P-channel transistors. Potentially suitable for future microprocessors, they run far cooler: the world’s largest chipmaker claims that t about 50% the voltage, consuming only 10% the power of today's transistors.

Potentially, if the innovation proves to be viable for mass production of microprocessors, this enables either very small and power efficient chips which are powerful by today’s standards or chips that are dramatically more complex compared to contemporary, but consume the same amount of power. Obviously, the new materials can also enable dramatic improvements in energy efficiency not only for microprocessors, but also for graphics processors, core-logic sets and other highly-integrated devices.

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