Multilayer CVD coatings for high speed cutting applications were designed to achieve high wear and heat resistance during machining of steel alloys. In this work the microstructure and cutting performance of these novel multilayer CVD coatings are investigated and compared with standard CVD multilayer coatings. 3D-FIB tomography is used to characterize the microstructure of the layers, especially the transition between the Ti(C,N) and the Al(2)O(3) layer. The 3D reconstruction of the surface of the Ti(C,N) layer shows the formation of protruded Ti(C,N) grains with a very particular architecture, which penetrate into the Al(2)O(3) top-layer, providing a mechanical anchoring between both layers. Cemented carbides coated with the novel CVD multilayer present reduced crater and flank wear as well as improved adherence between the Al(2)O(3) top-layer and the Ti(C,N) layer leading to a dramatic improvement of cutting performance.