IBM Reveals New Advanced Chip-making Technologies
- By Scott Bekker
CMOS 9S, its new chip-making technology that the company is using to launch
production of powerful microchips for a variety of devices, including servers,
communications gear, and pervasive computing products.
CMOS is a combination of several recent chip-making
technology advances that IBM has made of late. It unites the powers of IBM’s
copper wiring, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and ‘low-k dielectric’
insulation, enabling Big Blue to build chips that contain more processing
IBM will use these new chips to support performance-hungry
applications, such as speech recognition and wireless video. This new
manufacturing technique will also be used to produce future generations of the
IBM Power4 processor, code-named Regatta, which will ship next year under the
new IBM eServer name.
Using CMOS 9S, IBM can build chip circuits as small as 0.13
microns. This technology is optimized to manufacture chips containing hundreds
of millions of high-speed transistors and miles of microscopic wiring. It
features what IBM claims is the smallest SRAM memory cell in production at 2.16
square microns, which allows more high-performance memory to be placed on a
chip, resulting in faster and more efficient processors.
According to IBM, the first commercial products resulting
from its new processing technology are scheduled to ship next year. IBM is
currently producing chips using the new CMOS 9S process on a pilot production
line in its Semiconductor Research and Development Center in East Fishkill,
N.Y. – Jim Martin
About the Author
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.