Using an undisclosed thick hafnium-based material for its high-k films in gate-stack applications, Intel claims that it is able to boost the overall performance, while also reducing transistor leakage by more than 10 times over current silicon dioxide technology. NEC Corp. is moving high-k into production, while IBM Corp. has disclosed the technology as well.
Transistors can be made smaller, potentially doubling the total number in a given area, their speed can be increased by more than 20 percent, or power leakage can be cut by 80 percent or more.
Intel has a good description of the work
This image shows the insulating layer (yellow) and the electrode (blue) have been changed.