SANTA CLARA, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Chip giant Intel ( INTC - Get Report) claimed a major breakthrough in chip design this week with the launch of 3-D transistors, which it will debut in a new 22-nanometer processor dubbed Ivy Bridge.

The transistors, which Intel billed as the company's most significant technology announcement of the year, come at a time when the No. 1 chipmaker is under increasing pressure from ARM Holdings' ( ARMH) low-power technology.
Intel is claiming a breakthrough in processor design with its new 3-D transistors.

"We're going to be able to provide better performance and lower power at the same time," said Bill Holt, general manager of Intel's technology and manufacturing group, during a press conference on Wednesday. "We have been working on this for the last 10 years -- we will be making upgrades to our factories over this year and next year to have them ramp up this technology."

Transistors, which are microscopic switches, have typically been flat structures on the surface of processors. Intel, however, has built a tiny silicon fin that juts out from the transistors, which it is calling "3-D Tri-Gate." This technology will boost the transfer of current across processors and also improve the density of transistors on chips, according to the tech giant.

Intel shares finished the week down 1.52% at $23.25.


Embattled networking giant Cisco ( CSCO - Get Report) announced yet more restructuring this week ahead of its forthcoming third-quarter results.

The switch maker, which has been wrestling with execution problems and slumping shares, will streamline its sales, services and engineering organizations, according to a statement released before the market open on Thursday.

"Cisco has driven transformational change before, and we are again transitioning to the next stage of the company's evolution," said Cisco CEO John Chambers, in the statement. "It's time to simplify the way we execute our strategy, and today's announcement is a key step forward."

Following several quarters of weak sales and guidance, the networking giant is attempting to get its business back on track and satisfy investors. The latest overhaul follows Cisco's recent decision to shutter its Flip consumer video business.

There are hopes, however, that Cisco could reap the benefits of a healthy spending environment when it reports its third-quarter results after market close on Wednesday. Citing a survey of 92 Cisco resellers, analyst firm Robert W. Baird has noted solid demand in the U.S. corporate sector, which is being offset by challenges in EMEA and public spending.

Cisco closed up 0.46% at $17.56 on Friday.

> >> Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

Sony's ( SNE - Get Report) security woes continued this week when the company confirmed that hackers had breached its Sony Online Entertainment division, which makes multiplayer online games. In a statement released late on Monday, Sony said personal information from about 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts may have been stolen.

The latest breach comes hot on the heels of last week's announcement that Sony's PlayStation Network was infiltrated by an unknown hacker.

Sony, which has attracted criticism for its ongoing data problems, confirmed to TheStreet that it is working with a number of companies to catch the hackers behind the PlayStation breach, which include data forensics specialist Guidance Software ( GUID).

Sony's stock ended the week up 0.29% at $28.06.


On Tuesday, Apple ( AAPL - Get Report) introduced a revamped line of iMac computers, which use Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and the chipmaker's Thunderbolt data port technology.

The new desktop iMacs feature Intel's 32-nanometer technology, which uses quad core processors and a Turbo Boost feature to crank up the computing speeds.

The move, though expected, is a welcome endorsement for Intel, after the chipmaker got off to a rocky start earlier this year when it had to recall the first shipments of its new processors. Apple's chip choice, however, is bad news for graphics-chip maker Nvidia ( NVDA), which had been in previous versions of the iMacs.

Shares of Apple closed down 0.03% in afternoon trading Friday at $346.66.


AT&T ( T - Get Report) and Samsung unveiled their new Infuse 4G phone at an event in New York late on Thursday, which they are touting as America's thinnest 4G smartphone.

The telecom giant is also making a song and dance about the device's 4.5-inch screen, which is the largest in its smartphone lineup. Mike Woodward, vice president of AT&T's mobile device portfolio, told TheStreet that this will prove particularly useful when viewing news aggregation services and in social networking.

"One of the things about Facebook is that is has become something where people communicate with each other, but also share media," he said. "People love big screens, and the thinness makes the whole device feel more manageable."

AT&T shares ended the week up 0.13% at $31.26.

Tech earnings season gathers pace next week with Rackspace ( RAX), Symantec ( SYMC - Get Report) and Cisco ( CSCO - Get Report) on deck. TheStreet will be live-blogging Cisco's results after market close on Wednesday and interviewing the company's CFO Frank Calderoni the following morning. In addition to a busy earnings week, attention will be focused on San Francisco on Tuesday when Google's ( GOOG - Get Report) I/O developers conference kicks off.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.