IBM enters 90-nm technology race

IBM Corp.'s Microelectronics Division here today jumped in the 90-nm (0.09-micron) technology race, announcing an advanced process that will enable the development of ASICs and other chips with up to 72 million "wireable" gates.

Geared for IBM's ASIC, silicon foundry, or standard IC customers, the company's new Cu-08 process is a 90-nm offering equipped with copper interconnects, low-k dielectrics, embedded memory, voltage reduction techniques, and silicon-in-insulator (SOI) wafers.

IBM will ramp up the Cu-08 process in its new, 300-mm fab in East Fishkill. A design kit, which allows customers to develop 90-nm ASICs and related chips, will be available in the third quarter of this year. One of the first customers for IBM's technology is Cisco Systems Inc., according to the company.

The Cu-08 process is said to boost chip performance by up to 20%, but drive power consumption down by as much as 40%. It will also enable advanced ASICs and system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs, said Tom Reeves, vice president of ASICs at IBM Microelectronics.

News source: SiliconStrategies - IBM enters 90-nm technology race, targets process in new 300-mm fab

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