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Intel gives Moore's Law new lease of life

Intel has breathed new life into Moore’s law, with the announcement that it has developed the first working test chips to use 45-nanometer technology.

Intel says that the breakthrough could see the first chips based on the 45nm process ship in the latter half of 2007. It will mean that Intel has kept pace with its target of rolling out a new manufacturing process every two years and means Moore’s Law, which says that the number of transistors on a chip will double every two years, has another lease of life.

You can read more details on the test chips dubbed P1266 here.

Shrinking the size of transistors in this way generally boosts performance, lowers power consumption, and the reduction in the chip size means more chips can be produced per wafer, so lowering manufacturing costs.

However, squeezing evermore oomph out of a single processor is not the be all and end all.

Whilst Intel has already begun shipping 65-nanometer chips, AMD is still trying to gets its versions out the door, yet AMD’s chips in the desktop and server space continue to hold the performance edge over those from its larger rival.

This is because the industry is increasingly looking to multicore processors, where the processor workload can be divided amongst different cores and it is here that AMD continues to hold the technological edge.

Every technological switch for chip manufacturers is becoming that slightly bit more challenging, but if Intel can pull it off successfully, it will be interesting to see if this technological edge can take the wind out of AMD’s sails.