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9/30/2003
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IBM Taps Advanced Processes For Wireless Chip

Possible uses include cars with "smart cruise control" and collision-avoidance systems.

IBM is working on integrating advanced chip disciplines to produce a wireless component that will sharply improve the performance of many wireless devices. Announced Tuesday at the 2003 Bipolar/BiCMOS and Technology Meeting, in Toulouse, France, the marketplace isn't likely to see or use the chips in devices for a few years.

The new research was done at IBM's Watson Research Lab in Yorktown Heights, N. Y.

Researchers said the silicon-germanium bipolar chips will be placed on a thin silicon-on-insulator wafer. To manufacture the chips, IBM will initially use a next-generation 65-nanometer process, later moving to a 45-nanometer process. By unveiling the research so far in advance, device developers will be able to plan ahead, IBM noted.

Possible uses for the new chips include cars with "smart cruise control" and collision-avoidance systems. Further, the expected boost in power capability should enable mobile phones to deliver more advanced functions, such as video playback, IBM said.

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