2011年05月05日 06:21 AM
Intel hails revolution in 3D chip technology
Intel has claimed the biggest breakthrough in microprocessor design in more than 50 years, potentially raising the stakes significantly for rivals in the increasingly capital-intensive global chip industry.
The world's biggest chipmaker said on Wednesday that it would begin producing chips later this year using a revolutionary 3D technology that has been nearly a decade in the making, and which it said would act as the foundation for generations of computing advances to come.
The new technology represents one of Intel's biggest gambles in the race to maintain and even extend its long-standing lead over other chipmakers in making chips smaller and faster, while breathing fresh life into the remorseless cycle of chip improvements on which the modern computing and electronics industries are founded.
The impact of Intel's attempt to push ahead of the rest of the industry was felt more widely on Wednesday, as Applied Materials, which supplies Intel with manufacturing equipment, announced a $4.9bn acquisition to keep up with the new technology.
The US equipment maker said it would buy Varian Semiconductor Equipment to give it the capability to handle chips of greater complexity than those whose circuits are only 22 billionths of a metre wide – the scale at which Intel said it would begin manufacturing before the end of this year.
這家美國設備製造商表示，將收購Varian Semiconductor Equipment，以具備處理比目前22納米芯片更複雜的芯片的能力，英特爾表示，將在今年底之前開始生產這種芯片。
Intel called its new chip design the most significant advance since the introduction in the 1950s of the silicon transistor, the building block in electronics. It said the breakthrough would also extend Moore's Law – the accurate 1965 prediction by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the number of transistors on a chip could be doubled roughly every two years.
英特爾將其最新芯片設計稱為自上世紀50年代矽晶體管問世以來最為重大的進步，晶體管是電子系統的基本構件。該公司表示，這項技術突破還將延長摩爾定律(Moore's Law)，這是英特爾聯合創始人戈登•摩爾(Gordon Moore)1965年做出的一項準確預測，他認為，芯片上晶體管的數量每兩年就可增加約一倍。
That exponential rise in processing power has formed the basis for the steady advances in electronics since, though many in the industry fear that the chipmakers are approaching the limits of their ability to continue the improvements.