IBM to produce Nvidia chips

Nvidia has signed a pact with IBM Microelectronics to help it avoid putting all of its graphics chips in one basket.

The chipmaker on Wednesday will announce an agreement in which IBM will serve as an additional manufacturer for the GeForce family of graphics chips. Nvidia's current manufacturer is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). Nvidia wanted more manufacturing capacity and was looking to avoid the pitfalls of working with just one producer, said Nvidia spokesman Derek Perez.

As previously reported, Nvidia had to delay the introduction of the top-of-the-line GeForce FX processor in part due to TSMC, its only manufacturer at the time, making a transition from a 180-nanometer manufacturing process to a new 130-nanometer process. The change to a new process allows chipmakers to produce smaller, faster and less power-hungry chips. When looking for an additional foundry, Nvidia also sought out technology that would help it boost performance, Perez said. This gave IBM a leg up on the competition.

IBM is rivaled only by Intel in its chipmaking technology and research and development prowess. The Microelectronics division, working with IBM Research, has introduced a number of new chip-manufacturing technology breakthroughs over the years. IBM also recently opened a new chip plant in East Fishkill, N.Y. "I think (IBM) wowed us with a lot of things," Perez said. "Having all of its technology expertise in our back pocket was a no-brainer for us."

News source: C|net

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