Intel Paves Way To A Trillion Transistors In Next-Gen Chips By 2030

At IEDM, Intel Research showed how Moore’s law is alive and how Chipzilla plans to offer next-gen chips with trillion transistors in 2030.

Intel research fuels Moore’s law and paves the way to a trillion transistors by 2030

Press release: At IEDM 2022, on the 75th anniversary of the transistor, Intel targets new 10x density improvement in packaging technology and uses novel material only 3 atoms thick to promote transistor scaling.

What’s new: Today, Intel unveiled research breakthroughs fueling its innovation pipeline for keeping Moore’s Law on track to a trillion transistors on a package in the next decade. At IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) 2022, Intel researchers showed advances in 3D packaging technology with a new 10x improvement in density; Novel materials for 2D transistor scaling beyond RibbonFET, including super-thin material only 3 atoms thick; new possibilities in energy efficiency and memory for higher-performing computing; and advantages for quantum computing.

“Seventy-five years since the invention of the transistor, innovation driving Moore’s Law continues to address the world’s exponentially increasing demand for computing. At IEDM 2022, Intel is showing the forward-thinking and concrete research advantages needed to break through Current and future barriers, cater to this insatiable demand and keep Moore’s Law alive and well for years to come.

– Gary Patton, Intel vice president, and general manager of components research and design enablement

What happens at IEDM: In commemoration of the transistor’s 75th anniversary, Dr. Anne Kelleher, Intel executive vice president and general manager of technology development, will lead a plenary session at IEDM. Kelleher will outline the paths forward for continued industry innovation – rallying the ecosystem around a systems-based strategy to address the world’s increasing demand for computing and more effectively innovate to advance at a Moore’s Law pace. The session, “Celebrating 75 years of the transistor! A Look at the Evolution of Moore’s Law Innovation,” held Monday, December 5, 9:45 PM PST.

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Why it matters: Moore’s Law is vital to addressing the world’s insatiable computing needs, as the increasing data consumption and the drive to increase artificial intelligence (AI) brings the greatest acceleration in demand ever.

Continuous innovation is the cornerstone of Moore’s Law. Many of the key innovation milestones for continuing power, performance and cost improvements over the past two decades – including strained silicon, Hi-K metal gate and FinFET – in personal computers, graphics processors and data centers started with Intel’s Components Research Group. Further research, including RibbonFET gate-all-around (GAA) transistors, PowerVia back-side power delivery technology and packaging breakthroughs like EMIB and Foveros Direct, are on the roadmap today.

At IEDM 2022, Intel’s Components Research Group showed its commitment to innovation in three key areas to further Moore’s Law: new 3D hybrid bonding packaging technology to enable seamless integration of chiplets; Super-thin, 2D materials to fit more transistors onto a single chip; and new possibilities in energy efficiency and memory for higher-performing computing.

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How we do it: Researchers from Components Research Group have identified new materials and processes that blur the line between packaging and silicon. We reveal critical next steps on the journey to extend Moore’s Law to a trillion transistors on a package, including advanced packaging that can achieve an additional 10x interconnect density, leading to quasi-monolithic chips. Intel’s materials innovations have also identified practical design choices that can meet the requirements of transistor scaling using novel material only 3 atoms thick, allowing the company to continue scaling beyond RibbonFET.

Intel introduces quasi-monolithic chips for next-generation 3D packaging:

  • Intel’s latest hybrid bonding research presented at IEDM 2022 shows an additional 10 times improvement in density for power and performance over Intel’s IEDM 2021 research presentation.
  • Continued hybrid bonding scaling to a 3-um pitch achieves similar interconnect densities and bandwidths as those found on monolithic system-on-chip connections.

Intel is looking to super-thin ‘2D’ materials to fit more transistors on a single chip:

  • Intel demonstrated a gate-all-around stacked nanosheet structure using 2D channel material only 3 atoms thick while achieving near-ideal switching of transistors on a double-gate structure at room temperature with low leakage current. These are two key breakthroughs needed for stacking GAA transistors and moving beyond the fundamental limits of silicon.
  • Researchers also revealed the first comprehensive analysis of electrical contact topologies to 2D materials that could further pave the way for high-performing and scalable transistor channels.

Intel brings new possibilities in energy efficiency and memory for higher-performing computing:

  • To use chip area more effectively, Intel is redefining scaling by developing memory that can be placed vertically above transistors. In an industry first, Intel demonstrates stacked ferroelectric capacitors that match the performance of conventional ferroelectric trench capacitors and can be used to build FeRAM on a logic die.
  • An industry-first medium-level model captures mixed phases and defects for improved ferroelectric hafnia devices, marking significant progress for Intel in supporting industry tools to develop novel memories and ferroelectric transistors.
  • Bringing the world one step closer to transitioning beyond 5G and solving the challenges of power efficiency, Intel is building a viable path to 300 millimeter gun-on-silicon wafers. Intel breakthroughs in this area demonstrate a 20-fold gain over the industry standard GaN and set an industry record figure of merit for high-performance power delivery.
  • Intel is making breakthroughs in super-energy-efficient technologies, specifically transistors that don’t forget, to hold data even when the power is off. Already, Intel researchers have broken two of three barriers that keep the technology from being fully viable and operational at room temperature.
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Intel continues to introduce new concepts in physics with breakthroughs in delivering better qubits for quantum computing:

  • Intel researchers are working to find better ways to store quantum information by gathering a better understanding of various interface defects that could act as environmental disturbances that affect quantum data

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