While the chip giant has no plans to start producing a commercial model of the chip, the development will allow researchers to create all the parts that are required in production-class processors.
"This test chip is usually the first significant step we take in developing new logic technologies," said Mark Bohr, a senior fellow at Intel and director of process architecture and integration.
"Although this is a memory test chip, it does include all the transistor and interconnect features that are used in the final 45nm microprocessor products."
The chip's smaller size and advanced design allow for a doubling of transistor density compared to traditional 65nm semiconductors, according to Bohr.
This will result either in a 20 per cent increase in transistor switching speed, or a five-fold reduction in power leakage.
The first 45nm processors are scheduled for availability in the second half of 2007, Intel said.
Most of today's processors use 90nm technology. Intel started shipping the first 65nm chips late last year, and expects such components to become the dominant chip technology by the third quarter of 2006.
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