The Future Of Intel Processors - System On Chip Does It All
The essence of the Intel Atom development is a micro-architecture which utilizes Intel's advanced silicon technology to derive the computing core for the wide range of different devices which can now connect to the internet and will be able to connect in the future. The two year cadence, which Intel has promoted as their Tick Tock, shows that a new and innovative core premiers approximately every other year on a new range of the silicon based technology. The future of the Tick Tock cadence is based on a progress towards the integration of various other elements of sub-circuitry which traditionally have not been integrated into microprocessors directly on the chip itself of the CPU. These are called SOCs or Systems on Chips.
Intel has spent a great deal of resources and time to develop System on Chip technologies. The Atom Core is their focus on which to continue to evolve the Systems on Chip paradigm. The Atom Core is also going to be ported over to TSMC for manufacturing which is a drastic change from the conventional Intel operations of the past. The shift of manufacturing to TSMC is done to facilitate the embedding of particular customers intellectual property directly onto a System on Chip based on an Atom Core. It also facilitates the implementation and utilization of the wide range of library devices as well as input/output devices. These exist currently at TSMC so that semi-customized devices can be implemented and manufactured directly around Atom right at the manufacturing source.
The concept of SOC, or System on Chip, has forced Intel Corporation to thoroughly rethink the very fundamental basis of their silicon technology. They not only had to continue to improve the performance of their silicon chips, but also minimize leakage: a significant problem, especially when the manufacturing process diminishes considerably below 45 nanometers. At those very tiny scales, a great number of quantum electron interactions enter into the computing process which can drastically affect the computational ability of a chip rendering it useless.
The Intel Corporation is looking to deliver a similar increase in overall computing performance in the 45 - 32 nanometer shift that was achieved when Intel was able to supersede its 65 nanometer process with the 45 nanometer process. The increase in performance of these jumps can exceed 22 percent, or alternatively, maintenance of the same level of performance will actually decrease leakage by a factor of 10. That is the form of technology which is being implemented into the products that are upcoming from Intel, such as Westmere, Sandy Bridge, Haswell and beyond.
The 32 nanometer microprocessor generation features a technology which has actually reduced leakage by 30 times over its 45 nanometer predecessor and with the addition of innovative silicon technology to enable the creation of System on Chips as well as common interconnect models and common libraries, the SOCs can be swiftly developed to fulfill the requirements of a wide range of market segments which were previously difficult to serve. At the current time Intel Corporation has more than a dozen SOC 32 nanometer processes in development and ready for release in the year 2010 and 2011. It is feasible that Intel Corporation, by the year 2013 or 2014, could legitimately ship more silicon SOC devices each than the currently conventional CPU microprocessors.