Get Out Your 3D Glasses!

You’ll need more than 3-D glasses to see what Intel has planned for its next batch of computer chips.

Intel announced Wednesday that the electronic switches on those chips are getting a third dimension — “fins” that jut up from the base to help regulate power consumption. The development means consumers can expect computers to keep getting cheaper and more powerful. It’ll help Intel compete with low-power chips used in mobile devices.

Chips with the 3-D transistors will be in full production this year and appear in computers in 2012.

Intel has been talking about 3-D, or “tri-gate,” transistors for nearly a decade, and other companies are experimenting with similar technology. The announcement is noteworthy because Intel has figured out how to manufacture the transistors in mass quantity, cost effectively.

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