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Tuesday, 11 December 2012 09:46

Intel talks up 22nm SoCs

Written by Peter Scott

ARM wrestling

Thanks to a long spate of bad luck over at AMD, Intel now finds itself in a rather safe market lead, at least in high-end and server markets. However, in the low-end and mobile, Intel has a lot of catching up to do.

ARM still dominates the mobile market and Intel is looking to take on the British chip designer with new 22nm SoCs of its own. Intel outlined its SoC strategy at the 2012 International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco the other days.

The cunning plan involves 3D tri gate transistors and Intel’s 22nm fabrication process, or in other words it is a brute force approach. Intel can afford to integrate the latest tech in cheep and cheerful 22nm Atoms, thus making them more competitive in terms of power efficiency.

Since Intel leads the way with new manufacturing processes it already has roughly a year of experience with 22nm chips, while ARM partners rely on 28nm, 32nm and more often than not, 40nm processes. Intel’s next generation SoCs will also benefit from other off-the-shelf Intel tech, such as 3D tri-gate transistors.

Analysts believe Intel has what it takes to come up with a (very) competitive mobile chip, but it will take some time. Volume production is expected sometime in 2013, but that is as specific as Intel is willing to get at this point.

More here.

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