By Eleanor Haas
“Eco-friendly” comes first in
Intel’s description of its new 45 nanometer processors – “eco-friendly, faster
and `cooler’” is the phrase. That’s good
news for environmentally conscious customers and good business for Intel.
On technical achievement alone,
the new processors are impressive enough for Intel Co-Founder Gordon Moore to
call this the biggest transistor advancements in 40 years. Breakthroughs in manufacturing and materials
boost performance, lower power consumption and open the door to future products
that are even smaller and more cost-effective.
What makes the new chips faster
is Intel’s new manufacturing process, which makes it easier to squeeze
increasing numbers of electronic brains on a chip by shrinking circuitry
dimensions to 45 manometers from 65 manometers – a nanometer is a billionth of
a meter. The new processors are said to
have nearly twice the transistor density of previous chips built on the
company’s 65 nm technology. This brings
the number of transistors up to 820 million for quad-core processors that use
the new formula.
What makes the new chips
`cooler’ and therefore more eco-friendly is Intel’s all-new transistor formula,
which reduces electricity leakage – something that has become an increasingly
serious issue as parts of tiny switches have become smaller and smaller.
Increasing energy efficiency has
become key to IT product design not only because of the environmental benefits
but because of cost savings for users. In addition, environmental friendliness has been mandated by regulatory
bodies around the world.
Whatever the motivation, it’s
good to see environmental considerations the No. 1 selling point.