Feeds

Intel teaches IBM how to reveal chip breakthroughs

Long learning process

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Were you to invent the most fundamental change to processor guts in over forty years, you'd want to tell a lot of people about it. So why on Earth did Intel and IBM reveal such a breakthrough on Friday night, as Silicon Valley went to sleep? That question sparked our interest when Intel and IBM's news statements about new transistor designs appeared together at 9 pm.

Chip makers have used silicon as the element of choice for such transistors for more than forty years. Now, because of atomic-level constraints, they've had to a pick a new element - hafnium - and a pair of undisclosed metals to get the same job done. Finding the right materials and manufacturing techniques to produce these new transistors has taken years and years of blood, sweat and tears research. How funny then that after a decade of grunting in the labs Intel and IBM simultaneously nailed the scientific breakthrough, issued press releases about their achievements at the same time and shared in their ambivalence as to whether or not anyone read about the game-changing events.

Cough

In reality, Intel's engineers did want their deserved glory, and they wanted it all to themselves. But IBM had to spoil the show.

Last week, Intel revealed its transistor breakthrough in front of a group of reporters at the company's Santa Clara headquarters, although the press were sworn to temporary secrecy about the meeting.

The company showed off the so-called High-K + metal gate transistors that have already started to replace standard silicon-based transistors in chips made via Intel's new 45nm manufacturing process. Such chips will ship later this year. [In a previous report, we described some of the fine-grained details behind the new transistors.]

Armed with the fresh transistors, Intel has promised better performing products for years to come - products that match up to Moore's Law.

In addition, Intel has claimed more than a one-year edge over rivals by adding the new transistors to its mainstream production line so quickly.

"It shows you the lead Intel has today and is likely to continue to drive in the marketplace," said Intel's CEO Paul Otellini, speaking to the reporters.

Not so fast, said IBM.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.