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Intel reportedly planning tiniest silicon shrink yet: nearing the size of a DNA strand at just 5nm

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Intel has begun updating facilities to handle 14nm processor production, and a leaked roadmap reveals plans to reach a 5nm die shrink are underway.

Intel 14nm Roadmap
Intel 14nm Roadmap

A couple of leaked slides uncovered by Xbit Labs have laid out Intel's research and development roadmap out to 2015 and beyond. We already knew that Intel is scheduled to release the 22nm Haswell processor next year, and the leaked roadmap shows that the company is still planning to start development on the 14nm successor to Haswell as early as next year. The slides also show that that Intel has already begun equipping facilities in Oregon, Arizona, and Ireland to handle 14nm CPU fabrication. More interestingly, Intel apparently has plans to shrink their fabrication process down to 5 nanometers in the years to come.

While exciting, this isn't especially revelatory news. Intel has laid out aggressive timetables before, and their tick / tock development cycle requires that the company hit these die shrinks regularly; the 14nm die shrink is right on schedule. That said, getting as far as 5nm will take some time — Intel is still in the research phase with these sub 14nm manufacturing processes, so we'll have to wait and see whether or not they can keep up with such a fast-paced gameplan.