Bernard Cole, EETimes
5/24/2011 2:34 PM EDT
Intel’s recent move to new 22 nanometer CMOS process technology in its Atom CPU road map has upset a delicate balance maintained over the last ten years or so among circuit designers, processor architects, and embedded system hardware and software developers.
What is upsetting the balance and may force a rethink of every aspect of embedded systems design is Intel’s shift away from a well understood planar structure to a vertical 3D FinFET. The company claims that going vertical allows significantly higher performance at lower power than most planar techniques. If Intel is successful, it will be hard for ARM and its licensees and other CPU architectures to avoid making the jump as well.
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