Intel Corp next week will showcase a new type of transistor as the biggest maker of computer chips looks for ways to build devices that are 500 times faster than today's, yet don't need too much energy. \nThe so-called TeraHertz transistors, still being researched at Intel and scheduled for release as early as 2005, operate at a speed of 1,000THz. They generate little heat and will use only about as much power as today's best 2GHz CPUs, Intel said. \nIntel has been pressing developers not only to jack up the speed of computer processors while reducing the power needed to run them. The TeraHertz transistor -- a complete redesign of current parts that combines three technical challenges and represents a major shift in Intel's manufacturing practices -- would accomplish both tasks. \n"It's the combination of lower cost and increased performance that has been the magic that drives the semiconductor industry," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with researcher Insight 64. \nThese transistors will switch on and off a trillion times a second to regulate the flow of electricity in chips. It would take a person 15,000 years to do the same thing with a light switch. \nThe company will reveal technical details of the design at a Dec. 3 conference in Washington. Intel will also tout working transistor models with circuits just 15 nanometers wide -- even smaller than the 20-nanometer ones announced in June that were already the industry's thinnest. \nIntel Chief Technology Officer Patrick Gelsinger in February warned that even though it's possible to build chips with a billion transistors in coming years, the power needed to run them could slow advances. Today's Pentium4 chip has 42 million transistors. \n"The power is getting out of hand," said Rob Willoner, an Intel technology analyst. "We're going to get into power densities comparable to that of a nuclear reactor." \nTeraHertz transistors seem to solve the problem and ensure that Intel can continue to follow Moore's law, the maxim stated by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that says the number of transistors in a chip doubles every 18 months, which has for the most part accurately predicted the pace of semiconductor development since 1965. \n"Moore's law is not like the law of gravity," Insight 64's Brookwood said. "It really requires constant efforts on the part of manufacturers and developers to keep it on the track." Intel will include some aspects of the TeraHertz transistors in early 2003, with full implementation in 2005. \nThe new transistor's source and drain, the two points that direct the flow of electricity, are thicker. That gives electrons more mobility, like moving to a fire hose from a garden hose. The added mobility lowers resistance and means it takes less power to drive the electrical current. \nThe chip also has a new so-called gate dielectric. The gate determines whether the transistor is on or off; its dielectric layer cuts energy leakage through the gate. As chips get smaller, the layer gets thinner, and leaks increase. \nIntel uses silicon dioxide now and wants to replace it with a material that can block more leaks. The chipmaker is evaluating what new material to use and expects to reduce leakage by a factor of 10,000. \nFinally, another layer of insulation keeps energy from leaking when the transistor is off. The process, dubbed silicon-on-insulator or SOI, has gained popularity with rivals. \nUsing SOI is a reversal for Intel, which had derided efforts by IBM Corp and AMD Inc, saying SOI costs too much and doesn't offer enough gains for the money. Now, Intel says that its SOI process is different, more specialized than competing methods and will cost less by the time it's rolled out. Making any of the three changes helps a little, and Intel said the combination makes big gains possible. \n"It's a radical change," Willoner said. "For us to commit our logic technology -- our bread and butter -- to such a radical change, it's going to surprise some people."
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations