Feeds

IBM and pals to start baking 28nm chips

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.