Intel’s first 22nm trigate transistor products debut

April 23, 2012 — Intel Corporation introduced its first product built on the 22nm 3D trigate transistor: the quad-core 3rd-generation Intel Core processor family for desktop, laptop and all-in-one (AIO) designs. In the coming months, additional versions of the 3rd generation Intel Core processors will be available to power ultrabooks, servers, and other intelligent systems.

Get a look inside the trigate transistor architecture with blogger Dick James in Intel 22nm trigate transistor exposed

Intel’s 3D transistor technology is combined with architectural enhancements to double the 3D graphics and HD media processing performance over Intel’s previous generation of chips. The design offers as much as 20% better microprocessor performance with new technologies to speed the flow of data to and from the chips. Graphics architecture, Intel HD Graphics 4000, in the 3rd-gen processors were reworked for up to 2x better 3D graphics performance.

This combination is part of Intel’s “tick-tock” model, wherein a new manufacturing process (3D transistors) was introduced in 1 year (“tick”), and the architecture of the chip (“tock”) was altered the next. Intel accelerated this model, doing both in the new chips. "Gate-last, scaling, and now the move to 3D trigate should be meaningful in driving improved performance/watt at the high-end (sustaining server leadership) and at the low-end (mobility) over time," noted analysts at Barclays Capital. Barclays says that the chip launch extends Intel’s leadership to 3yrs+ ahead of competition. With 28nm issues at competitors beginning to surface, Barclays see increased probability that Intel may win business from Apple.

Intel is also partnering with other chip companies that want to use the 22nm trigate architecture, including Netronome (processors), Tabula (programmable logic) and Achronix (FPGAs).

Intel Quick Sync Video 2.0 technology was built into the new processors, for video conversion up to 2x faster than last year’s processors. Added security features include Intel Secure Key and Intel OS Guard to safeguard personal data and identity, along with Intel Identity Protection Technology (Intel IPT) and Intel Anti-Theft technology (Intel AT). Platforms based on 3rd generation Intel Core processors also deliver faster data transfer capabilities made possible by USB 3.0 integrated into the Series 7 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) and PCI Express 3.0 integrated into the processor.

Systems based on quad-core 3rd generation Intel Core processor products will be available beginning this month, as well boxed versions of these processors.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. Additional information is available at www.intel.com.

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