32nm planar transistors
Instead of implementing the transistor as a flat structure on the surface of the substrate, Intel's design uses a silicon 'fin' rising from the substrate. The gate is then made on the sides and top of the fin.
22nm Tri-Gate transistors
This increases the amount of current that can flow when the transistor is 'on', minimises the current flow when 'off', and allows faster switching between states. All these considerations combine to improve performance.
The idea of 3D transistors is not new, having been first disclosed by Intel in 2002. The company is now the first to make it a production technology, having demonstrated a 22nm microprocessor codenamed Ivy Bridge that will go into high-volume manufacturing by the end of 2011.
"Intel's scientists and engineers have once again reinvented the transistor, this time utilising the third dimension," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "Amazing, world-shaping devices will be created from this capability as we advance Moore's Law into new realms."