Intel Demonstrates New Energy-Efficient Chips at ISSCC

On the eve of the ISSCC, a conference where companies showcase their latest advances in semiconductor technology, Intel showcased a number of energy-efficient chip technologies the company is working on.

The International Solid-State Circuits Conference has been organized for over sixty years as a platform to discuss the latest semiconductor developments. Intel has published a number of papers for the ISSCC, in which the company explains research into energy-efficient processor building blocks and communication technology. However, the developments of Intel Labs are still in the R&D stage; it will be some time before the techniques presented can be found in products.

For use in smartphones and tablets, the company has developed a new GPU core that can be made at 22nm for the time being. The test chip can operate at very low voltages, but can also be used at higher voltages to boost performance. Also intended for consumer products is a new serial interface to follow up on PCI Express and USB. Intel Labs developed an economical interface that achieves 32Gbit/s per channel, using only 205mW. Moreover, the necessary physical cables and connectors can be produced cheaply.

For more industrial applications, Intel will present a paper on a network-on-a-chip produced at 22nm at the ISSCC. This means that up to hundreds of cores on a chip must be connected to each other, achieving speeds of up to 20.2 Tbit/s, while only 0.9V is used. The company also discusses papers on embedded dram to reduce bottlenecks between cpu and memory, and a memory interface for ddr4 and gddr4 memory. A chip that generates encryption keys from variations encountered in chip production and a preview of Ivytown, a 15-core Xeon family, will also be featured in the coming week.