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Intel chips hit billionth-of-a-metre milestone

23nm processors on course for late 2009

Intel has finished development work on manufacturing technology that will allow it to produce chips with circuitry just 32-nanometres in size, a billionth of a metre, by the fourth quarter of 2009.

The new production technology will enable Intel to lower costs and power consumption in chips, while adding more speed and functionality. In general, microprocessing speeds are directly related to the number of transistors on a chip, and the smaller the transistor, the more can be packed together on a single chip die. Smaller production technology lowers costs by enabling companies to increase output.

The development also means Intel will for the fourth consecutive time match its 'tick-tock' strategy, a target to introduce an entirely new microprocessor architecture alternating with new production technology roughly every twelve months.

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