Intel chief executive Pat Gelsinger said Wednesday that he
expects Intel to maintain or even supersede Moore's Law for the
next decade, revving up the pace of Intel's manufacturing, despite
having slowed down just a few years ago.
Gelsinger also said he believes the progress of manufacturing
innovation will be unique to Intel, and that rivals will be unable
to keep up.
It's no secret that while silicon manufacturing has been the
foundation of much of Intel's success for generations, there's been
a fundamental limitation: Moore's Law, which has proven to be
surprisingly prescient in determining how quickly chips can be made
more powerful. Historically, the law (really an axiom) has been
that transistor density doubles over a fixed period, usually 18
months to two years. That, in turn, governs how fast processors can
operate, and, conversely, how much power they'll consume.
In 2015, Intel began adding additional tweaks to its 14nm
manufacturing roadmap as well as its Kaby Lake processor, while
then-chief executive Brian Krzanich warned that the complexity of
chip manufacturing had slowed the pace of Moore's Law. On Tuesday at
Intel's Intel Innovation conference, Gelsinger said that the basis
of the company's IDM 2.0 manufacturing strategy would propel the
company at the pace of Moore's Law or even beyond.
Moore's Law is alive and well, Gelsinger said. Today we are
predicting that we will maintain or even go faster than Moore's Law
for the next decade.
We are entering a period of sustained if not 'super' Moore's
Law, Gelsinger added. We expect to even bend the curve faster than
a doubling every two years. And we will not rest until the periodic
table is exhausted. We as the stewards of Moore's law will be
relentless in our path to innovate in the magic of silicon. Like I
said, Moore's Law is alive and very well.
Intel's manufacturing resurgence is predicated on several
different aspects, as the company has outlined before.
Intel is moving to Extreme Ultraviolet, a lithographic technique
that replaces visible light as it carves out the silicon
transistors from the wafers themselves. EUV equipment will be
available to other semiconductor manufacturers, but Gelsinger said
Intel will have an advantage with what is known as High-NA EUV,
essentially the second generation of EUV equipment.
Second, as Intel outlined in July, it's moving to a new
transistor model, known as RibbonFET, as well as a backside power
delivery system. Finally, Gelsinger noted that even Gordon Moore,
the author of Moore's Law, highlighted the importance of packaging.
Intel's Foveros Omni model allows the chip die to expand in a
You know, I think we're going to be comfortably ahead of anybody
else in the industry, Gelsinger said. I don't think it's that
nobody else is going to be participating. But I expect as we look
at those coming together, you know, we're just going to be adding
advantage over these four domains, as we look out over the rest of
Intel launched its 12th-gen Alder Lake Core
chip on Wednesday, a day after AMD reported third quarter earnings that
included a much more optimistic fourth-quarter outlook than Intel's
own. AMD, however, uses third-party TSMC as its chip foundry, while
Intel prefers to almost exclusively use its own fabs.