Intel CEO Paul Otellini says that silicon will last for three more generations of processors, when it will be replaced by a new and “very cool” base material.
Speaking at San Francisco’s Web 2.0 Summit last week, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that silicon was in its last decade as the base material of the CPU. Otellini forecast that Intel would produce “three more generations” of silicon processors before shifting to a new semiconductor material.
Given that Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ model sees a new microarchitecture every two years – and starting at the current 45nm ‘Nehalem’ silicon microachitecture, which will be followed by 32nm (‘Sandy Bridge’) in 2011, then 22nm (Haswell’) in 2013 and 16nm (codename unknown) in 2015 – then Otellini’s talking about the first wave of non-silicon processors kicking off by 2017.
Otellini said that chips based on these new materials are already up and running in Intel’s labs, but he held back on revealing what materials and technologies these are, saying only that “It’s very cool.”