Moore’s Law lives on: Intel is paving the way for a trillion transistors in next-generation chips by 2030

At IEDM, Intel Research showed how Moore’s Law is alive and how Chipzilla plans to deliver next-generation chips with a trillion transistors by 2030.

Intel research feeds into Moore’s Law and paves the way for a trillion transistors by 2030

press release: At IEDM 2022, the 75th anniversary of the transistor, Intel is targeting a new 10x density improvement in encapsulation technology and uses a new material just 3 atoms thick to boost transistor scale.

what’s new: Today, Intel unveiled research breakthroughs that are fueling its innovation pipeline to keep Moore’s Law on track for the trillion transistors on a package in the next decade. At the IEEE International Electronic Devices Meeting (IEDM) 2022, Intel researchers showcased advances in 3D packaging technology with a new 10-fold density improvement. new materials for 2D transistor sizing beyond RibbonFET, including an ultra-thin material only 3 atoms thick; new possibilities in energy and memory efficiency for high-performance computing; and advances in quantum computing.

Seventy-five years since the invention of the transistor, the innovation driving Moore’s Law continues to address the exponentially increasing global demand for computing. At IEDM 2022, Intel showcases both the forward-thinking and concrete research breakthroughs needed to break down current and future barriers, meet this insatiable demand, and sustain Moore’s Law is valid and well for years to come.”

– Gary Patton, Intel Vice President and General Manager, Component Research and Design Enablement

What happens in IEDM: In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the transistor, Dr. Ann Kelleher, Executive Vice President of Intel Corporation and General Manager of Technology Development, will moderate a plenary session at IEDM. Kelleher will identify paths forward for continued innovation in the industry – rallying the ecosystem around a systems-based strategy to more effectively meet the growing global demand for computing and innovate to advance Moore’s Law pace. The session “Celebrating 75 Years of the Transistor! A Look at the Evolution of Moore’s Law Innovation” takes place at 9:45 a.m. PST on Monday, December 5th.

why does it matter: Moore’s Law is vital to meeting the world’s insatiable computing needs, as rising data consumption and the drive for increased artificial intelligence (AI) is driving the largest acceleration in demand ever.

Continuous innovation is the cornerstone of Moore’s Law. Several major innovation milestones for continued power, performance, and cost improvement over the past two decades—including strained silicon, Hi-K metal gate, and FinFET—in personal computers, graphics processors, and data centers began with Intel’s Components Research Group. More research, including RibbonFET gate universal transistors (GAA), PowerVia back-side power delivery technology, and packaging breakthroughs such as EMIB and Foveros Direct, is now on the roadmap.

At IEDM 2022, Intel’s Components Research Group demonstrated its commitment to innovation across three key areas to continue Moore’s Law: new 3D hybrid threading packaging technology to enable seamless integration of chipsets; Ultra-thin 2D materials to fit more transistors in a single chip; and new possibilities in energy and memory efficiency for high-performance computing.

How to do it: Components Research Group researchers have identified new materials and processes that blur the line between encapsulation and silicone. We reveal critical next steps in the journey to extend Moore’s Law to a trillion transistors on a package, including advanced packaging that can achieve 10x additional binding density, resulting in near-monolithic chips. Intel’s innovations in materials have also identified practical design options that can meet transistor scaling requirements with a new material only 3 atoms thick, enabling the company to continue expanding beyond RibbonFET.

Intel introduces next-generation semi-monolithic chipsets for 3D packaging:

  • The latest Intel Hybrid Threading research presented at IEDM 2022 shows an additional 10x improvement in power density and performance compared to the Intel IEDM 2021 research presentation.
  • Scaling the continuous hybrid interconnection to a 3-um step achieves similar interconnection densities and bandwidths as those found in monolithic system-on-chip communications.

Intel is looking to ultra-thin “2D” materials to fit more transistors on a single chip:

  • Intel demonstrated an all-gate stacked nanosheet architecture using a 2D channel material only 3 atoms thick while achieving near-perfect switching of transistors on a double-gate structure at room temperature with low leakage current. These are two of the major breakthroughs needed to stack GAA transistors and move beyond the fundamental limits of silicon.
  • The researchers also revealed the first comprehensive analysis of the electrical contact topologies of two-dimensional materials that could pave the way for scalable, high-performance transistor channels.

Intel delivers new capabilities in power and memory efficiency for high-performance computing:

  • To use chip area more effectively, Intel is redefining scaling by developing memory that can be placed vertically on top of transistors. For the first time in the industry, Intel demonstrates stacked ferroelectric capacitors that match the performance of conventional trench ferroelectric capacitors and can be used to build FeRAM on a logical die.
  • An industry-first device model that captures the mixed phases and faults of hafnia-enhanced electrical devices, marking a significant advance for Intel in supporting industry tools to develop new memories and ferrite-electric transistors.
  • To bring the world one step closer to moving beyond 5G and solving energy efficiency challenges, Intel is building a viable path for 300mm GaN-on-silicon chips. Intel’s breakthroughs in this area demonstrate a 20x increase over the industry standard GaN and set an industry record of merit for high-performance power delivery.
  • Intel makes breakthroughs in ultra-energy-efficient technologies, specifically memory transistors, to retain data even when the power is off. Intel researchers have already broken two out of three barriers that prevent the technology from being fully applicable and operating at room temperature.

Intel continues to introduce new concepts in physics with breakthroughs in delivering better qubits for quantum computing:

  • Intel researchers are working on better ways to store quantum information by gathering a better understanding of various interface defects that can act as environmental perturbations affecting quantum data.

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