The next milestone in the relentless pursuit of smaller, higher performance microchips has been unveiled.
Chip-maker Intel has announced that it will start manufacturing processors using transistors just 45 nanometres (billionths of a metre) wide.
Shrinking the basic building blocks of microchips will make them faster and more efficient.
Computer giant IBM has also signalled its intention to start production of chips using the tiny components.
"Big Blue", which developed the transistor technology with partners Toshiba, Sony and AMD, intends to incorporate them into its chips in 2008.
Intel said it would start commercial fabrication of processors at three factories later this year.