Achronix Semiconductor Corp, a privately-held fabless corporation based in San Jose, will manufacture their future Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) products on Intel's 22 nanometer (nm) process technology.
With Achronix, Intel is offering access to its 22 nm fabs. For
perspective, this deal would only make up a tiny amount of Intel's overall
capacity, significantly less than one percent, and is not currently viewed
as financially material to Intel?s earnings.
Taking advantage of its large investments in chip fabrication plants,
Intel is opening its manufacturing doors to others for the first time.
Intel now has line of sight to 22, 15, 11 and 8 nanometers, with first
22nm products expected to be in production in the second half of 2011. A
nanometer measures in at one billionth of a meter. These days, more than
10 million transistors can fit in the period at the end of this sentence,
and Intel is able to make chips the size of a fingernail that have about
one billion transistors inside them.
Pursuing Moore's Law means smaller and lower-power Intel Atom, Core and
Xeon chips about every two years. Yet these chips will still increase
performance and provide more chip 'real-estate' to add features such as
graphics or virtualization inside. But the advantage isn't just a
time-to-market one. Intel is also adding unique features to its
manufacturing capability, such as its 2007 Hafnium-based high-k, metal
gate technology, which created a new formula for reducing current leakage,
and thus power consumption, of transistors. Intel has shipped more than
500 million chips with high-k, and will be on its third generation of that
technology when we begin producing 22 nm processors.
On track with Oak Trail tablet chips
In related news, Intel on Monday confirmed that it is on track to launch
its Oak Trail chip platform aimed at the fast-expanding tablet market, in
The chips have much-improved energy efficiency and hold their own compared
to processors made by rivals, Marketing Director Anil Nanduri told
Tablet shipments should grow by nearly 200 percent next year, while
notebooks and other PCs will expand just 13 percent, according to a recent
report by market research firm iSuppli.
The microprocessor at the center of Oak Trail lets users watch
high-definition video for up to eight hours without recharging their
batteries, an improvement from previous versions.