We know that 3D is all the rage with movies and televisions.  But with computer chips?  Intel is anouncing the first mass scale production of transitors that are 3D instead of 2D.

Tri-Gate transistors form conducting channels on three sides of a vertical “fin” structure, a major advance from the planar design of transistors in use for the past 50 years, the company said. (Planar transistors work in two dimensions.) The three-dimensional structure of the next-generation transistors allows chips to operate at lower voltage with lower leakage. 

In other words, the electrons go “up, left, and down,” said Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager for the Intel Architecture Group, at an event in San Francisco Wednesday.

The 22nm chip (shipping at the end of 2011) will have 37% more power than the 32nm chip, as well as a 50% less power consumption.  To read the whole story and see some pictures, click here for PC Magazine’s article.

Mark Viquesney