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CPU & Processor Design Special
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Visit AMD Dresden Fab 30
65nm Special
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CPU Design Special
Intel Nanotechnology
Future Fab White Papers
07/10/06 Greater fab diversity can lead to higher costs - the inquirer
"What could be wrong with seeking a second source for 80 nm parts? For starters the two 80 nm processes from TSMC and UMC are not compatible. A design ported to TSMC’s 80nm process will most likely not work, or if it does, would work very slow on UMC’s 80nm process. This is due to TSMC and UMC having non-compatible design libraries and standard cell layouts. So a chip designed for TSMC’s 80 nm process would most likely not work on UMC’s 80nm line. "

Intel Fab18 Factory Tour in Kiryat Gat, Israel - Hardware Secrets
"Fab18 was established in 1999 and at that time produced Pentium III wafers. It was upgraded to the 90 nm process and now it produces wafers for Pentium 4 CPUs, chipsets and flash memories. There are 3,700 people working there"

Introduction to Semiconductors - Overclockers
"There are some different types of semiconductors around, including elemental and intrinsic. Some elemental semiconductors are silicon and germanium. Compound semiconductors are made up of two or more atoms that combine to make a semiconductor. GaAs and InP are examples of compound semiconductors."

The race to 10GHz - vnunet
"In total, the number of transistors in a processor can be huge: 106 million on the latest AMD Athlon 64, and 125 million on Intel's Pentium 4, all on a surface the size of a fingernail. Graphics chips are even more complex; Nvidia's Geforce FX 6800 has 222 million transistors."

11/17/04 Processor Technology Scaling Issues - Sudhian
"One of the ways that IBM and AMD are hoping to hold off the end of transistor frequency scaling is by using silicon on insulator (SOI).  With current materials, the difference between the base silicon and the doped source and drain creates a capacitive load every time the circuit switches.  This junction?s capacitance must be filled or emptied depending on whether the transistor is switching on or off; the time taken for this to occur can limit how fast you can clock the transistor."

11/15/04 Consommation des CPUs - X86-Secret
"En tête du classement, c'est bien sûr le core Prescott qui s'affiche, très très gourmant en électricité. On approche ainsi les 100 Watts avec le Pentium 4 3.6 GHz. Juste en dessous se situent les derniers Athlon 64, même si la version la plus performante, le FX-55, consomme à peine autant qu'un Prescott d'entrée de gamme ! Le core Northwood termine la marche, avec des consommations d'environ 70 Watts pour le 3.4 GHz, soit 25% de moins qu'un Prescott à fréquence égale, ce qui n'est pas rien"

11/02/04 Processor Fabrication: How a CPU is Built - Sudhian
"Making a bigger ingot while retaining those necessary properties obviously is more difficult, but has been solved by having enough money thrown at it.  Building a current
300mm fab is approximately 3.5 billion dollars for the output in wafers that is required by Intel, along with the equipment to make rather complicated microprocessors (compared to simpler DRAM).  A similar 200mm fab costs around 1.5 billion"

08/30/04 Intel Keeps Moore's Law Alive - Forbes - See also Moore' Law Special
"Beyond the 65-nanometer node lies the next process migration to 45-nanometer technology, which if the schedule holds should begin to take place in 2007. Intel says it is already researching methods that combine strained silicon with other techniques to meet that target. "

09/21/04 AMD opens up chip design on two fronts - ZDNet
"The bulk of the new team, about 60 design engineers out of a total of 90, was already in the neighbourhood -- they were stationed at a nearby outpost of Sun Microsystems. The engineers, who came on board en masse in July, had been working on new processors for Sun, before the computer maker shifted its processor design strategy and cancelled two projects, including its UltraSparc V. Many of the designers also had worked on Digital Equipment's Alpha processor at one time or another, considered a good pedigree in the chip world"

10/15/03 Leaks And Leakage At Intel - Forbes
"Rumors, some more reliable than others, have been flying about Prescott, the code name for the next anticipated revision to Intel's Pentium 4 processor line. Among other things, Prescott is to be built on Intel's new 90-nanometer manufacturing process, which is expected to be fully ramped up by the first quarter of next year. The chip has been expected to hit the market by the end of this year, with a clock speed of 3.4 Gigahertz"
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