Facts from Intel

In closing, we’d like to leave you with a set of 9 interesting facts Intel supplied us with regarding the processors and their transistors we will be intimately familiar with by 2005.  Enjoy:

1.      The transistors are 0.03 microns wide and some of their structures are about 3 atomic layers thick.  The transistors are so small that a vertical pile of 30 million transistor gates would measure 1 inch high (12 million for a centimeter) and a stack of more than 100,000 would equal the thickness of a sheet of paper.

2.  These Transistors can turn on and off 10 billion times per second

3. These transistors will be built into Intel processors that are nearly 10 times more complex than the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, today's most advanced processor.  For example, the future processors will have 400 million or more transistors, will run at 10 GHz and operate at less than 1 volt. Today’s Pentium 4 processor has 42 million transistors, runs at 1.5 GHz and operates at 1.7 volts.

4. Faster than a speeding bullet: A 10GHz processor will be able to complete 20 million calculations in the time a speeding bullet travels 1 foot, or 2 million calculations in the time it travels 1 inch

5.      A 10GHz processor is faster than the blink of an eye.  In the times it takes you to blink (1/50th of a second or so), the processor can complete about 400 million calculations

6.      Imagine putting 400 million parts on a chip the size of your finger nail.  Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium, one of the world’s largest athletic stadiums, could only contain an estimated 200,000 spectators for the largest crowd ever gathered for a football (soccer) game.

7.      At 1 volt or less, these future processors will consume significantly less power than today’s processors.  Thus, they could be easily used in battery-operated devices such as laptop computers and handheld devices.  As a comparison, today’s Pentium 4 processor operates at  1.7 volts.  (AnandTech Note: obviously this one is stretching it a bit since we know that voltage isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to portable devices)

8.      These transistors will begin appearing in products manufactured using 0.07-micron (70 nanometer) technology, which is three manufacturing processes more advanced than Intel's current 0.18 micron technology.  To put this in perspective, today's 0.18-micron technology is two manufacturing processes more advanced that the 0.35 micron technology used when the Pentium processor was introduced in 1993.  The Pentium® processor had 3.1 million transistors, ran at 66 MHz and operated at 5 volts. 

9. The 0.07 micron (70 nanometer) technology will rely on Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) lithography, the next generation lithography technology, for printing the narrowest lines.  This will be combined with 157nm lithography to enable manufacturers to continue producing smaller and faster processors.  Lithography is the process in which circuits -- the pathway through which electrical current flows -- are printed on silicon wafers.  EUV will allow semiconductor manufacturers to print ever-smaller features on a wafer.  The difference between features drawn by EUV and Deep Ultra-Violet (DUV) lithography, today’s most advanced method, is similar to drawing two lines of equal width and quality on a piece of paper, but using a fat-tipped marker to draw one line and a fine-tipped marker for the other.

10GHz by 2005 running at < 1 volt


View All Comments

  • SlyNine - Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - link

    It'll be much much longer then we all thought. :P Reply
  • karasaj - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    They're 7 years overdue! :)

    History really is interesting.
  • Shahnewaz - Sunday, April 12, 2015 - link

    It has been 10 years and the only processor even remotely close enough to 10GHz is an AMD FX-9590@5GHz.
    No, you're not realistically speaking. At least not Intel.
  • name99 - Monday, February 29, 2016 - link

    IBM z12 clocked at 5.5GHz, and IBM has claimed POWER8 runs at 5GHz (though I don't know if they've ever sold those on the open market).

    Back in the day (2007) POWER6 WAS sold at 5GHz, and IBM claimed they had versions running at 6GHz (which they may well have sold not on the open market).
  • NJCompguy - Monday, February 29, 2016 - link

    15 years later, we can now have facial recognition on a Surface Pro 4 to log in! Yay for the fast pace!! lol Reply
  • name99 - Monday, February 29, 2016 - link

    "These are things that Intel is claiming will be possible by 2005 with the type of processors that will be available in desktop systems.... Intel is working very hard in developing the software that will help make these visions a reality. "

    Let's all remember this next time Intel predicts something, anything. Intel has three skills
    - process/manufacturing
    - circuit design
    - micro-architecture design.
    Unfortunately NOT on that list are things like
    - software design
    - ISA design
    - vision for the future, and prediction

    Which means you're going to be in a bubble if you live in the Intel world. That was obvious here with the absolute lack of mention of any other manufacturer (TSMC was 13 yrs old in 2000), and the lack of mention of other uses of CPUs (Apple Newton was 7 yrs old in 2000). Instead of asking what better processes might enable in less powerful machines, all we get is the question "how do we do more of the same?" The question to ask, usually, should NOT be "what do I do with a 10x faster processor" but "what do I do with a 100x CHEAPER" processor" or what do I do with a "100x lower power processor?"
    The post-iPhone revolution has broken through this bubble in some respects, but not all. Almost everyone is willing to concede that CPUs in cell-phone are important, interesting, and worth following. But we get the same blindness when it comes to the next shrink in size, whether its smartwatches or IoT. And we get an absolute blindness when it comes to the idea of substantially restructured OSs, substantially restructured languages (and development paradigms) --- apparently we're going to be using UNIX-like OS's and C/C++ for the next hundred years...
  • zerghumper - Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - link


    Much. Much longer. :(

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