Intel says it is on schedule to introduce chips made with the 45-nanometer process, which could lead to cheaper and better performing processors in 2007.
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The company said it has already created test chips using the 45-nanometer process and it expects to start shipping the products in the second half of next year.
The new chips contain over a billion transistors and are nearly the same size as the test chips produced by Intel in 2000 to show its then new 130-nanometer process.
Intel currently uses a 65-nanometer production process. A 45-nanometer process will allow the company get more transistors on a single processor and shrink their size to reduce energy consumption.
The shrinking process and the loading of many more transistors on a chip meets the requirements of the industry’s Moore’s Law and reduces production costs.
Nanometer measurements refer to the average size of the sub-components of a transistor. A nanometer is a billionth of a metre.