Intel has announced its latest technology for packing as many transistors as possible into a tiny space to make computer chips that aren’t just faster than their predecessors, but also more energy efficient.

Intel 22nm 3D tri-gate transistor

The company says it’s new 3-D Tri-Gate transistors take advantage of a third dimension, compared with pretty much every transistor on the planet today which has a two dimensional planar design.

The new transistors will be used in upcoming 22nm chips from Intel, code-named Ivy Bridge, which offer up to a 37 percent performance increase over the company’s current line of 32nm chips. Intel envisions the incredibly tiny chips powering handheld devices such as phones or tablets.

Intel is the first company to announce it’s ready to start building 3-dimensional transistors, which could give the company an edge over competitors — something Intel is going to need if the company wants to compete in the tablet and smartphone spaces which are currently dominated by ARM-based processors.

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