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IBM Reveals New Advanced Chip-making Technologies

IBM Corp. today unveiled 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 power.

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.

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