In recent months, Intel has discussed at length its plans for the years to come, the evolution of its engraving finesse or the packaging of its processors, allowing their greater modularity. The Santa Clara giant detailed some points at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (MEI) 2021.
If Alder Lake-S is the first true hybrid CPU brought to the market by Intel, with different cores within the same chip, it is far from being the only initiative which aims to thoroughly review the processors of the ‘business.
LEGO processors: a growing trend
Indeed, the years to come will be an opportunity for the company to multiply the small steps towards very modular assemblies, with a variety of interconnected chips, which can be designed and manufactured by Intel or not. From Sapphire Rapids to Granite Rapids to Meteor Lake and Ponte Vecchio, all will be part of this effort. Add to this the work carried out in photonics via a new laboratory and the Lightbender project.
Intel discusses its next chips, their design, AWS and Qualcomm to operate its foundry
At the MEI 2021, Intel reviewed some of the technologies it is currently developing for this purpose. This is particularly the case with Foveros Direct, which is to take over from Foveros with better density and therefore a reduction in the space required for communication between different chiplets, the speeds not being specified.
According to Intel, this solution should also allow the multiplication of various chips, in terms of objectives or dimensions, within the same processor, with an organization that will take a little Tetris:
Stacking, GaN, Quantum: buzzwords to promote research
In a second video, Marko Radosavljevic evokes the switch to RibbonFET which is happening on next generation processes (20A) with a stacking allowing again to reduce the necessary space, via different solutions tested since 2019. But also the introduction of Nitride of Gallium (GaN).
The team also says it is working on solutions exploiting concepts of quantum physics when it comes to replacing current transistors, with MagnetoElectric Spin-Orbit (MESO) components operating at a conventional temperature that should allow to go even higher. low in the finesse of the manufacturing process.
Intel has also partnered with IMEC in this area, showing the manufacturing process that could be used for quantum computing solutions on 300mm wafers. But here too these are somewhat vague promises. It will undoubtedly be necessary to wait for these projects to progress to be entitled to more concrete concepts.