45nm CPUs may not be that far off. If Intel's goals play out, they will finish the design of their first series of 45nm CPUs as early as this quarter, with production beginning next year. The success with 65nm production has led Intel to push up other plans:
“Our factories have been executing extremely well with over 40 million 65nm processors now shipped and a crossover from 90nm now achieved. Our 45nm process development is on track for the second half of 2007 and we plan to tape out the first of fifteen 45nm processors this quarter,” said Paul Otellini, Intel’s chief executive during the discussion of the company’s financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2006.
Based on Core 2, Intel's first 45nm design would definitely assist them in production of quad and higher core designs, and result in significant power reductions compared to current chips.