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Intel's 3D Tri-Gate transistors get smaller, faster, more energy efficient (photos)

Intel's Tri-Gate transistors usher in the next era of Moore's Law and open the door to a new generation of innovation.

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James Martin

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1 of 8 James Martin/CNET

Intel's new 22-nanometer 3D transistors

Intel today announced what it called a major technical breakthrough and historic innovation in microprocessing, introducing a 3D transistor called Tri-Gate that will result in both performance and power improvements in the 22-nanometer "Ivy Bridge" chips.
Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's architecture group, holds a silicon wafer produced using the new 22nm 3D manufacturing process.
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2 of 8 James Martin/CNET

3D transistors mean energy savings and improved performance

A fundamental departure from the standard two-dimensional transistor structure, these 3D Tri-Gate transistors enable chips to operate at lower voltage and with less energy leakage. At the 22nm production level, 22-billionths of a meter, there will be a 37 percent performance increase versus Intels' 32nm transistors.
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3 of 8 James Martin/CNET

3D Tri-Gate transistors

Previously, conducting channels moved along a flat plane through the gate, but the 22nm Tri-Gate transistor forms conducting channels on three sides of a vertical fin.
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4 of 8 James Martin/CNET

3D Tri-Gate transistors

An extreme close-up of 3D Intel's new Tri-Gate transistors shows the honeycomb like structure.
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5 of 8 James Martin/CNET

Intel's continuation of Moore's Law

Intel says that ultimately the new 3D transistors will allow the company to continue on the path of Moore's Law, making future devices faster and more energy efficient.
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6 of 8 James Martin/CNET

Intel Executive VP Dadi Perlmutter

Intel Executive VP Dadi Perlmutter shows off a laptop used to prototype the capabilities of the new 3D transistors.
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7 of 8 James Martin/CNET

Dadi Perlmutter, Mark Bohr, and Bill Holt

Intel Executive VP Dadi Perlmutter, left, Senior Fellow Mark Bohr, and Senior VP Bill Holt take questions following the unveiling of Intel's new 3D transistor structure Wednesday in San Francisco.
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8 of 8 James Martin/CNET

Showing off Intel's new transistors

Hardware used internally to test Intel's new 3D transistor structure shows off the capabilities of the next-generation chips.

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