Intel just had a little get together in San Francisco. The gathering was all about 32nm and Intel's future plans.
I was not able to be there in person but was privy to a phone link that allowed me to listen in.
The first speaker was Mark Bohr, who talked about the move to 32nm and what it means to Intel and its future technology. Simply put 32nm is a big jump in terms of die size, power, performance and in the move they have discovered ways (such as using H-K gate technology) to reduce the amount of leakage as well as being completely lead and halogen free.
The new 32nm process with feature 9 copper and 9 low-k interconnect layers. It will have the tightest reported gate pitch and the highest current drive. This all equals out to a greater than 22% performance increase for the shrink.
Intel also announced Westmere with is the 32nm version of Nehalem and will feature up to 6 cores with 12 threads. There will also be a mobile version that will have its own 45nm graphics core to help reduce the power cost in smaller systems.
Additional benefits of the 32nm shrink will be to utilize the extra space for transistors to handled AES encryption algorithms on the CPU.
It all boils down to a very big lead in manufacturing for Intel, added with the announcement that Intel is investing $7 Billion into upgrading for 32nm in the US. I would say they are not letting the economy stand in the way of moving technology forward.
Coverage on Intel's Westmere family can also be found at the following sites :-