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April 17th, 2007
Intel gets a little smaller, sort of.
It would appear that Intel is paving new roads for the UMPC's (Ultra Mobile PC) and MID's (Mobile Internet Devices) with the likes of Blackberries and PDA's.
Dubbed with the killer code name "Silverthorne", the new chip is to be of a 45nm design, making for a number of distinct advantages. First, Intel is using their Hi-k Metal Gate transistor design. This is a new type of transistor gate that will replace the conventional Polysilicon gate MOS (Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor) transistors that have been in use since the late 1960's. Though silicon is the element of choice for semiconductors, it does have a problem with voltage leakage at those smaller sizes. The new Hi-k Metal Gates use special combinations of metals, insulators and gate design to help reduce this voltage leakage in smaller die designs. Intel is already working on Silverthorne based processors for the Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad and Intel Xeon family of processors (code named "Penryn").
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