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Intel unveils first working 22nm chips

Intel shows first working 22nm chips and announces 32nm production in Q4

Intel unveils first working 22nm chips
Intel CEO Paul Otellini showed off the new 22nm chips.
Intel unveils first working 22nm chips
The circuitry contained on each chip is so small that 2.9 billion transistors can be packed into an area the size of a fingernail.

Intel has shown off the world's first 22nm working chips, and announced a next generation of 32nm technology at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini presented the silicon wafer which contains the first working chips built on 22nm processes. The test circuits include SRAM memory and logic circuits.

Each wafer is made up of an individual die containing 364 million bits of SRAM memory, and more than 2.9 billion transistors in an area the size of a fingernail. The chips contain the smallest SRAM cell used in working circuits ever reported at .092 square microns. The devices rely on a third-generation high-k metal gate transistor technology for improved performance and lower leakage power.

Otellini also announced that Intel's first 32nm processors will go into production in the fourth quarter of the year.

"At Intel, Moore's Law is alive and thriving," said Otellini. "We've begun production of the world's first 32nm microprocessor, which is also the first high-performance processor to integrate graphics with the CPU. At the same time, we're already moving ahead with development of our 22nm manufacturing technology and have built working chips that will pave the way for production of still more powerful and more capable processors."

Following the move to 32nm Intel will subsequently introduce Sandy Bridge, Intel's next new microarchitecture. Sandy Bridge will feature a sixth generation graphics core on the same die as the processor core and includes AVX instructions for floating point, media, and processor intensive software.

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