Intel is rolling out a line of processors today that breaks brave new ground in micro-sizing —the chips are the first ever to be mass-produced with a 45 nanometer process, nearly a third smaller than today's 65 nanometer technology. The development gives the company an edge over rival Advanced Micro Devices, which just last month released 65nm chips.
The new chips are expected to be about 15% faster. Intel's Penryn family of processors use a new kind of transistor to achieve the smaller size, but the initial version of the chips are basically scaled-down versions of Intel's Core 2 models. The company plans to introduce a new 45nm chip next year with significant changes to the micro-architecture. (Read more Intel stories.)