In an exclusive interview with NordicHardware, Managing Director of Intel Northern Europe, Pay Bliemer, revealed that Intel is currently playing with 14nm circuits and have them actually "up and running" in a lab.
Bliemer also states that whilst manufacturing technology is becoming much more complicated, Intel is still full steam ahead with their current roadmaps. Intel were the first to tap into the 32nm technology for mass production of microprocessors and by the end of Q1 2012, they will roll out their Ivy Bridge architecture sporting a 22nm process with "3D Transistors", also known as Tri-gate transistors.
Bliemer also says that by the time Ivy Bridge launches, Intel will be one and a half nodes ahead of the competition. He adds:
I wouldn't say that we have problem but there's no denying that it's getting more complicated the smaller you make something, so you're running into limitations - but our R&D as well from an architectural point of view are the guys making the manufacturing and that's within the same company - which makes Intel unique still. So we can really work extremely close with these teams. We are the same team, the guys who are going to manufacture the parts and the ones who will be designing the parts.
That isn't even the best bit! Intel has already pushed 14nm into the test lab and NordicHardware have confirmed from Intel that they have the technology to build circuits at 14nm, and are currently running tests at 14nm in the lab.
We need to keep going and you can trust me that in our labs we actually have the next generation after 22nm running, so we need to keep going.[...]I cannot really disclose more about that other than that in a laboratory-environment, absolutely we do have the path, our engineers do have the path to actually go and produce 14nm products.
There are many variables that you can play with of course it is not the right name for it and the engineers would not like it when I say play, that you can influence to actually go and stay to that model. And I think the breakthrough we had now with the 3D metal gates, just the design of the gate will actually allow for much more efficient thermals and power.