SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hafnium-based microprocessor. Close-up of the underside of the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer, with contact pins (gold plated) forming a grid around the central microchips. This is a Xeon microprocessor from Intel, using advanced hafnium-based metal-gate transistor microchip technology that was announced in 2007. These microchips use the transition metal hafnium (Hf) in the insulating layer in the transistors on the silicon (Si) microchips. This replaced the silicon dioxide layer used previously, allowing a reduction in size to the 45-nanometre scale with associated increases in efficiency and savings in costs.
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