How IBM could lead AMD to 32 nm

Logo IBMAt this morning's analyst conference, AMD executives said they may scale back some on R&D. But earlier in the week, partner IBM unveiled a plan that could help fill the gap: a way to rework existing 45 nm parts designs for 32 nm.

Early this year, America's two leading semiconductor design firms, in fierce competition with one another to discover a material that could make smaller transistors possible, announced their accomplishments within mere hours of one another: Intel first, followed right behind by IBM.

However, observers at the time noted Intel had already performed very thorough testing on its high-k-plus-metal-gate (HK+MG) process, having already produced a working logic chip at the 45 nm level. IBM could only claim it had found the hafnium material, but beyond some scientific discourses could say little more that was actually practical.

Feeling a little like Al Gore -- beaten by a nose but perhaps not really beaten -- IBM has been working to find some way to leap-frog over Intel's achievement. On Monday, it made some inroads toward that goal, announcing it was forging an alliance with a multitude of semiconductor partners including Samsung, Chartered Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Freescale Semiconductor (the holders of Motorola's former CPU-related IP), Infineon (which is still part-owner of US-based Qimonda), and AMD.

Together, that alliance will work to produce HK+MG semiconductors for both logic and memory -- especially for the SRAM needed for CPUs' L1 and L2 caches -- this time at the 32 nm level. It is at this level of lithography that traditional semiconductor materials literally bend under pressure; any smaller, and they will crack. These new chips' die sizes could end up 50% smaller than for similar HK+MG designs at the 45 nm level.

Dr. Gary Patton, vice president for silicon research and development at IBM, explained the meaning of this breakthrough: In the lithographic process, you create semiconductors one layer at a time, as though you were reversing a film of a chip being shaven into layers. Because conventional gate oxide materials leak at lower and lower lithography nodes -- and leakage generates heat -- the HK+MG process replaces that material with something using hafnium, the exact formula of which remaining a secret.

Source: BetaNews

Tags: AMD, IBM, Infineon, Intel, Samsung

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
The 41 million Galaxy S8/S8+ units that the company reported it has shipped in 2017
 
A new survey from Loup Ventures finds Apple iPhone users are falling into a predictable upgrade cycle
 
 
The company might do away with the Android Wear moniker in favor of “Wear OS”
 
But still no third-party Lightning to USB-C cables
 
Jolla confirmed Sailfish OS will now be supported by another Sony smartphone
 
A complete line of accessories will be available of $1,899.99
 
The Snapdragon 700 Series will allow you to capture content during the day and night
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (9)