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IBM Chip Consortium Catches Up In 45 nm Race


A consortium of IBM, Chartered Semiconductor, Infineon and Samsung has created its first silicon-functional circuits using a 45 nanometre production process on 300mm wafers.

The group produced a chip which includes standard library cells and I/O elements provided by Infineon, as well as embedded memory developed by the alliance. It demonstrated a 30 per cent increase in performance over 65nm chips, the group claimed.

The research was performed at IBM's Advanced Semiconductor Technology Center in East Fishkill, N.Y.

The group has been collaboration on the development of advanced process technology for some time. The first working 45nm silicon is expected to start shipping by the end of 2007.

The consortium also released a design kit that seeks to entice third party chip designers to create chips on top of its technology.

Infineon board member Hermann Eul touted the 45nm chips as an ideal solution for mobile applications because of their reduced power consumption and increased performance.

"The first structures in 45nm represent our most cutting-edge technology, bringing together high-performance capabilities and low-power consumption. This solution is clearly well-suited to address the needs of next-generation mobile applications," Eul said.

The group is trailing behind microprocessor manufacturers Intel and AMD in the race towards 45nm processors.

Intel in January produced the industry's first 45nm test silicon, followed by AMD in April. Both chipmakers are expected to ship their first 45nm processors in 2007 or early 2008.

Current semiconductors are made using a 65nm production process. The number refers to the average feature size inside the semiconductor.
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