IBM touts advanced chip-making technology

IBM Corp. has begun pilot production of chips utilizing a new process technology package that combines several recent advances in chip-making, with the first commercial products scheduled to ship early next year, the company announced Sunday.

Combining several recent IBM advances in chip-making technology, the new process technology package called CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) 9S, will allow for more powerful chips for use in a broad range of devices to support new performance-hungry applications, including speech recognition, fingerprint authentication and wireless video, IBM said in a statement.

The new chips will appear in servers, communications equipment and pervasive computing products, including mobile phones. The new process technology will also be used to produce future versions of IBM’s Power4 processor, which will ship in a new eServer model code named Regatta, scheduled to be launched next year, IBM said.

By allowing for more powerful chips, the process technology will be key to the development of processors that will support performance-hungry applications, including speech recognition, fingerprint authentication and wireless video

With CMOS 9S, IBM has combined copper wiring, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and an improved insulation technology dubbed low-k dielectric, to build chips according to design rules as small as 0.13 micron. IBM claimed that CMOS 9S is the only 0.13-micron process technology to take advantage of SOI, which it said can improve transistor performance by up to 35 percent by providing an insulating layer in the silicon base of a chip to improve the flow of electrical current to the chip’s circuitry.

IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., can be reached at

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