IBM and Partners Move Closer to 32-NM Chips

IBM says its next-generation 32-nanometer chips will cut down on power leakage and reduce the processor's size. IBM is moving a step closer delivering the first of its first 32-nanometer microprocessors with an announcement that it has developed a high-k metal gate manufacturing technology, which promises to reduce the power that leaks from a chip's transistors while reducing the overall size of its chips.

The first of the 32-nanometer chips—a nanometer is one billionth of a meter—should be available in the second half of 2009, according to IBM. The company, along with its five partners—Advanced Micro Devices, Chartered Semiconductor, Freescale, Infineon and Samsung—made the announcement Dec. 10. IBM first announced that it was working on a high-k metal gate approach in January 2007. The announcements came about the same time Intel began delving into details about its own Hafnium-based high-k metal gate chip development technology that first appeared with its 45-nanometer line of processors called Penryn.

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