Intel Moving Towards 14nm
Moore’s Law is apparently still valid as far as Intel is concerned. The chip giant is already well ahead of the competition and intends to trample it yet again by moving to a 14nm production process while competitors like AMD remain at 28nm or higher.
A smaller production process leads to more energy-efficient chips that use less energy and produce less heat to provide the same level of performance (more transistors in the same physical space). By and large it’s a major improvement in most types of circuitry (excluding, perhaps, SSDs).
Intel is already in the lead with a 22nm process in the latest Ivy Bridge processors, but according to Digitimes, the company is on schedule to move to a 14nm process, with 10nm on the horizon.
Intel’s CTO Justin Rattner says that Moore’s Law will be valid for at least another 10 years, not least because Intel is aggressively pursuing said law.
The plan is to produce 14nm CPUs and SoCs (System-on-a-Chip) at the end of 2013. Starting 2015, Intel will gradually move to 10nm and eventually 7nm and 5nm.
Intel seems intent on leaving its competitors in the dust. There is currently very little chance of AMD catching up within a reasonable time frame, which really is unfortunate since some competition is clearly needed in the CPU industry.
According to the same article on Digitimes, Samsung enters 20nm in 2013 and is on track for moving to 14nm, while TSMC enters small-volume production of 20nm chips in the second half of 2013. None of these companies produce x86 processor, although TSMC produces GPU chips for Nvidia and AMD–currently at 28nm.