Apr 18, 2008
SY Wong

IBM Develops Smallest 32nm High-K Metal Gate Fabrication Process SRAM for Electronics Industry

Nowadays the chipmakers are moving fast with the release of even smaller process technology to fabricate a processor, chipset or SRAM. Not to be left behind, the famous giant chipmaker, IBM has just announced the readiness to develop new SRAM using 32 nanometer (HKMG) High-K Metal Gate process. If you compare, Intel has just started to engage on 45 nanometer process technology for few of its new series of processors such as recently launched Intel Atom and upcoming Nehalem processor. Whereas AMD is leaving far behind with its 65-nanometer processor, although more focus has been spent on re-architect its silicon design to recap some of the loss market.

While processor architecture is important for a company success, leading edge fabrication technology is equally important in electronics world. There are few advantages of smaller nanometer fabrication process. Firstly, the switching speed of the millions or even billions of transistors will be faster that boost up the processor overall performance. According to IBM, the migration will bring up the chip performance by 35 percent as compared to existing 45 nanometer parts. Besides, it allows a significant power savings of up to 50 percent, which is very crucial especially in today’s handheld market. Also, it will reduce the wafer cost eventually, although the initial migration cost seems to be higher.

The new 32 nanometer fabricated prototypes will be ready by end of this year. It is believed that the new announcement will help to expand the popularity of 32 nanometer high-k technology through the foundries and partners with better momentum to start the whole die shrinking design by now.

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