This new 90 nm (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter) process combines higher-performance, lower-power transistors, strained silicon, high-speed copper interconnects and a new low-k dielectric material. This is the first time all of these technologies will be integrated into a single manufacturing process.0.09-micron processors aren't exactly loomingPrescott is pegged as one of the first 0.09-micron parts but it probably won't hit until mid 2003 at the earliest. Still, this puts Intel in quite a comfortable position when it comes to process technology. Not only will the 0.09-micron process let Intel build faster chips that consume less power, it will also let them cram more processor dies onto each silicon wafer.
“While some are slowly transitioning production to 130 nm (0.13 micron) process on 200 mm wafers, we are moving ahead with the most advanced 90 nm technology exclusively on 300 mm wafers,” said Dr. Sunlin Chou, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group. “This combination will allow Intel to make better products and reduce manufacturing costs.”
For reference, the average human hair is 150 microns wide. That makes the 0.09 micron process really, really small.