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A unified carrier-transport model for a nanoscale surrounding-gate metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (SG MOSFET) is developed. The model is based on McKelvey's flux theory and includes quantum-mechanical effects. The model is applicable for both ballistic- and diffusive-transport regimes. The model results fit with the simulation results extremely well in both transport regimes for the small drain biases VDS <; 1 V. With the model, the characteristics of a drain-to-source current of an SG MOSFET working in the linear region can be very quickly and easily obtained. The model will provide some guidance for the practical use of SG nanowire transistors.