For more than four decades, transistors have been shrinking exponentially in size, and therefore the number of transistors in a single microelectronic chip has been increasing exponentially. Such an increase in packing density was made possible by continually shrinking the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET). In the current generation of transistors, the transistor dimensions have shrunk to such an extent that the electrical characteristics of the device can be markedly degraded, making it unlikely that the exponential decrease in transistor size can continue. Recently, however, a new generation of MOSFETs, called multigate transistors, has emerged, and this multigate geometry will allow the continuing enhancement of computer performance into the next decade.
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