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Shrinking chips use novel recipe

The chip industry's unrelenting quest to build smaller, faster microchips has taken another step forward.
Chip-maker Intel has launched a range of processors, known as Penryn, which will power the next generation of PCs.

The tiny chips contain a novel material and have features just 45 nanometres (billionths of a metre) wide.

The only PC processor in the line-up of 16 chips packs 820 million of the tiny switches into an area little bigger than a postage stamp.

"Had we used the same transistors that we used in our chips 15 to 20 years ago, the chip would be about the size of a two-storey building," said Bill Kircos of Intel.

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