TIME Names Intel’s 45nm Chips in Best Innovations of 2007 List

Its tiny, shiny and about to change future computers. Intel’s new 45nm transistors were featured in the “Computers” category of TIME Magazine’s annual “Best Innovations of the Year” feature hitting newsstands tomorrow.

It didn’t beat out Apple’s iPhone, but it was picked among other top innovations like the $150 XO Laptop, flexible cell phone displays from Sony & LG. Philips, the WildCharger charging pad, Corning’s ClearCurve technology and Google Maps’ Street View. There were a dozen other categories of winners from health and automobiles to fashion and architecture.

820 million new Intel’s 45nm transistors will fit inside the first quad core processors hitting the market this month. Intel engineers add new elements to silicon, using a Hafnium-based high-k metal gate silicon technology that Gordon Moore called “the biggest change to how transistors are made in 40 years.”

These new, smaller on-off switches or engines will help make future PCs suck less energy while still improving performance with each new generation.

Here’s a warp-speed video showing the construction of a new Intel Fab in Arizona, where these new transistors will be made in maga-mass quantities.

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