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Intel to ship 45-nanometer chips in 2007

Intel in the second half of 2007 will begin commercial shipments of the first PC processors based on a 45 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process, the company said this week.

On Wednesday the company demonstrated what is says is the first fully functional SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) chips using 45nm process technology, its next– generation, high–volume semiconductor manufacturing process. According to a company statement, the chip has more than 1 billion transistors.

Though not intended as an Intel product, the SRAM chip demonstrates technology performance, process yield and chip reliability prior to ramping processors and other logic chips using the 45nm manufacturing process. "It is a key first step in the march toward high–volume manufacturing of the world’s most complex devices," the company said.

Achieving this milestone means Intel is on track to manufacture chips with this technology in 2007 using 300mm wafers, and continues the company’s focus on pushing the limits of Moore’s Law, by introducing a new process generation every two years.

Today, Intel leads the industry in volume production of semiconductors using 65nm process technology, with two manufacturing facilities making 65nm chips in Arizona and Oregon and two more coming online this year in Ireland and Oregon.

"Being first to high volume with 65nm process technology and the first with a working 45nm chip highlights Intel’s leadership position in chip technology and manufacturing," said Bill Holt, vice president, general manger, Intel Technology and Manufacturing Group. "Intel has a long history of translating technology leaps into tangible benefits that people appreciate. Our 45nm technology will provide the foundation for delivering PCs with improved performance–per– watt that will enhance the user experience.”

Intel’s 45nm process technology will allow chips with more than five times less leakage power than those made today, the company said. This will improve battery life for mobile devices and increase opportunities for building smaller, more powerful platforms.

In addition to the manufacturing capabilities of its D1D facility in Oregon, where the initial 45nm development efforts are underway, Intel has also announced two high–volume fabs under construction to manufacture chips using the 45nm process technology: Fab 32 in Arizona and Fab 28 in Israel.