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Intel Moves Up Debut Of Billion-Transistor Chip

Not only does Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, believe Moore's Law is alive and well, it is aiming to deliver a billion-transistor chip in 2005, rather than the original target date of 2007.

The accelerated introduction of the billion-transistor integrated circuit was discussed by Jai Hakhu, vice president of Intel's Technology Manufacturing Group, during a conference organized by Merrill Lynch at the annual Semicon West exhibition here on Wednesday (July 14).

"The goal was a billion transistors in 2007. The [new] goal is a billion transistors in 2005," said Hakhu "This has been advanced by a couple of years," added Hakhu, without elaborating on which Intel chip would reach the milestone first.

In fact, 1 billion transistors has already been reached in high-capacity DRAM memories. One gigabit is conventionally 1,073,741,824 bits, and each bit is stored using a transistor and a capacitor. However, the more demanding and prestigious milestone will come when a billion-transistor digital logic chip enters volume production.

While several chip makers might aim for 1 billion transistors, many complex logic chip are likely to have large areas of on-chip memory, making transistor counting a contentious issue. With its 2005 goal and its manufacturing prowess, Intel appears determined to be first to reach the milestone.

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