Intel investors, take note: When the world's largest semiconductor maker holds its press conference Wednesday, keep your ears open for the words "tri-gate transistor." The unveiling of such ready-for-prime-time transistors would be a monumental advancement for the chip giant, say Wall Street analysts.

Intel (INTC), which is keeping the details of what's being announced strictly under wraps, will only say that this will be "its most significant technology announcement of the year," notes a CNBC report. But should the announcement be that its long-awaited tri-gate transistors, which it alluded to as far back as 2006, are finally ready for production, that would be a real show stopper, analysts say.

"This architecture will separate the men from the boys," said one Wall Street analyst. "No one else has a tri-gate transistor in volume production."

Transistors are part of a chip's architecture, which is rarely overhauled. But as chip companies repeatedly shrink the size of their chips, eventually they have to change that architecture -- the recipe for how the chips are built. The analyst noted that very few semiconductor companies can afford to retool their chips' architecture as they get smaller and still maintain the benefit of Moore's law. Under Moore's law, the number of transistors on a chip is expected to double roughly every two years, substantially boosting the power and performance of the chip.

According to Intel's 2006 sneak peak at its plan for tri-gate transistors:
The integrated CMOS tri-gate transistors will play a critical role in Intel's energy-efficient performance philosophy because they have a lower leakage current and consume less power than planar transistors.

Because tri-gate transistors greatly improve performance and energy efficiency, they enable Intel to extend the scaling of silicon transistors. Intel expects that the tri-gate transistors could become the basic building block for microprocessors in future technology nodes. The technology can be integrated into an economical, high-volume manufacturing process, leading to high-performance and low-power products.

Back then, it was predicted that chips with tri-gate transistors would be on the market by 2010.

Alternative Theories

Some of the other predictions of what may be unveiled tomorrow include an Atom processor that consumes less power for mobile phones and tablet computers, according to CNBC.

Meanwhile, the electronics engineering website EE Times speculated that Intel may be unveiling its 22-nanometer chips. The silicon giant noted last fall at its Intel Developers Forum that it was on schedule to market its 22-nm chips during the second half of this year. Those chips are expected to use planar technology -- a flat surface -- rather than vertical tri-gate transistors.

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Great to hear that something new has been created here. Keep the technology here where it belongs. Ultimately, you share it and you lose it to a low baller who will get rich while you lose the market share of the technology and are back at the lab.

May 04 2011 at 5:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If only they would announce that they were bring all of those jobs shipped to other parts of the world back to America.....thats the headline America awaits.

May 04 2011 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Intel is now dumped as investors head for the exits . Summer is approaching fast! We are busy planning for vacations !!

May 04 2011 at 12:49 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

I wired my first transistor into a circuit when I was 12. I got it from a Bell Labs kit in 1968.
This tri-gate transistor is interesting, but what I have invented is a "stacked" chip design.
It works on the same principle as a sky scraper. What can make this possible is the synthetic matter I'm working on. What I have found is, if you reverse Einstein's E = mc 2 formula to mc2 = E, you can re-assemble photons into new custom semiconductor atoms and molecules - in essense transistors made of single molecules. This technology is worth more than 100 billion dollars & on paper makes me the richest man on earth. Amazingly, I developed this in my garage lab. And on another note there is some financial analyst or something on here predicting a major financial disaster or some kind of gloom & doom. The people that really know what's happening, and I'm one of them cause I caused some of it, is we are about to enter an era of prosperity here to fore never seen in history. Fasten your seat belts cause the ride is just about to start.....Alfred-

May 04 2011 at 12:22 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

What in the world do ANY of these comments have to do with the transistor article they are supposed to be attached to? The second one doesn't even make sense. Seems this world is filling up with morons faster than I thought.

May 04 2011 at 8:19 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

From the articles above we can see that some of the most profitable and thus well run companies have no women or minorities on their board of directors. I guess if youwant to be well run and successful thats the way to go.

How many white men work at the NAACP , latino rights groups, women rights groups., minority rights groups? Jessie Jacksons extortion group operation Push? lWhen they get white men on the boards the other successful business might follow suite.. this is still somewhat a fee country and they can run their company as they wish..its their money. If you don;t want to buy their chicken, or natural gas or what ever they are selling go somewhere else. Its a free country. (sorta)

May 03 2011 at 1:53 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to muenft's comment

Go head and live your little dream white man, haaa and by the way do not go to any other country keep on living on your town because if you do It may wake up you up from your dream.
I hope you learn in the future.
J the minority

May 03 2011 at 2:35 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply