Feeds

IBM and pals to start baking 28nm chips

Fast, efficient - just don't call it 'high-k/metal gate'

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The march toward faster, more power-efficient microprocessors took another step Thursday when the IBM Technology Alliance announced the joint development of 28 nanometer process technology.

Alliance members include IBM, Singapore's Chartered, the recently-spun-off-from-AMD Globalfoundries, Germany's Infineon, Samsung, and Switzerland's STMicroelectronics. This global gaggle will work together to produce the process technology - already defined - that will be required to produce 28 nanometer high-k/metal gate silicon.

The Alliance, however, doesn't use the term "high-k/metal gate" to refer to that power-saving, leakage-reducing process technology - that's the terminology used by Intel, which first produced such chips in early 2007. The Alliance would prefer that you say "HKMG".

IBM and its partners were a bit late to the HKMG party, producing its first such silicon in April of 2008. While Intel started at 45 nanometer, however, IBM started at 32 nanometer. Now IBM and its partners - as well as Intel - have 28 nanometer in their sights.

Whatever you call it, HKMG - which replaces the polysilicon gates and silicon dioxide gate dielectrics in use since the 60s - is a major step forward in process technology.

As chips get smaller, their transistors are more prone to power leakage in the gate dielectric, leading to ineffiency and heat. An HKMG process can cut that leakage by five times or more.

Without HKMG technology, processes would be hard-pressed to keep up with Moore's Law, which states that chip complexities will double every two years. With HKMG, the Law remains in force - a least for a few more years.

According to the Alliance, early "risk production" of the 28 nanometer HKMG chips will begin in the second half of 2010. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?