2D transistors are so last year, and as such Intel has announced its brand new 3D transistor which should go some way to making the next generation of computing devices smaller, more efficient and, yes, more powerful.

To be fair the older 2D planar transistors, although extremely small, are actually three dimensional and have done a fine job of switching on and off to the drum of the electron-powered binary beat for over 50 years; the 3D element relates to the new tri-gate structure which allows tighter control over electron flow and therefore means the transistor can perform at lower voltages providing improved performance and energy efficiency.

This will enable a new era of computing in many categories from super computers to handheld devices like mobile phones and tablets.

The Intel Tri-Gate transistors will be used to make a 22nm microprocessor, as opposed to Intel's older 32nm planar transistors. Codenamed “Ivy Bridge” the processor will be the first high-volume chip to use 3D Tri-Gate transistors.

“Intel’s scientists and engineers have once again reinvented the transistor, this time utilizing the third dimension,” said Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini. “Amazing, world-shaping devices will be created from this capability as we advance Moore’s Law into new realms.”

So we can now all look forward to all our techy stuff continuing to get smaller and more powerful - keeping all Moore's Law enthusiasts happy for a few more years. However, if anyone has any ideas for a device that would be of more use if it were bigger and less powerful, then please let us know in the comments.