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Intel says new chips save energy, are more powerful

March 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a new lineup of processors slated for production this year that promise a performance boost and energy savings because of the transition to a new manufacturing technology.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel has spent heavily to equip its factories to produce chips on 45-nanometer technology, which shrinks the circuitry's width to 45-billionths of a meter. The company said the new family of chips would boast higher performance than previous generations partly because more transistors could be squeezed onto a single slice of silicon.

Intel, the world's largest computer chip maker, plans to introduce six types of processors, including processors with four computing cores boasting 820 million transistors. Intel is also using new materials in the transistors that prevent electric current from leaking out, which in turn extends the battery life in laptops.

Intel also disclosed plans for its next-generation chip design, scheduled to go into production in 2008, that the company said would deliver enormous performance and energy gains.

Intel's plans include integrating onto the processor a feature called a memory controller that the company has historically placed on a separate chip. Rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has long used it on the same piece of silicon to access data on external memory chips.

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