IBM Fills 'Airgap' To Create Faster Chips - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

06:49 AM

IBM Fills 'Airgap' To Create Faster Chips

Scientists at IBM have devised a way to create vacuum spaces between copper wires in semiconductors, which could lead to chips that consume less power.

LONDON — IBM Corp. scientists have devised a way to create vacuum spaces between copper wires in semiconductors and claimed the technique -- which borrows from nature -- will lead to chips that consume less power and run faster.

IBM said Thursday (May 3) its self-assembly nanotechnology process can be incorporated into standard CMOS manufacturing lines without disrupting operations or retooling.

Intial results at IBM labs indicate that the electrical signals on chips can flow 35 percent faster, or the chips can consume 15 percent less energy compared to the most advanced chips made using conventional techniques.

IBM researchers claim this is the first demonstration of the ability to synthesize mass quantities of self-assembled polymers and integrate them into an existing manufacturing process while achieving improved yields.

IBM plans to introduce the technology into the 32-nm manufacturing process being readied at its East Fishkill, N.Y., fab that is expected to come online in 2009. Initially, it would be used for devices made for IBM's server products and later for IBM chips made for outside customers.

"By moving self-assembly from the lab to the fab, we are able to make chips that are smaller, faster and consume less power than existing materials and design architectures allow," said Dan Edelstein, IBM fellow and chief scientist of the self-assembly airgap project.

While performance and power-saving improvements are "evolutionary", Edelstain said chip design and manufacturing are "revolutionary."

He added that the patented self-assembly process moves IBM's nanotechnology manufacturing method that had shown promise in laboratories into a commercial manufacturing environment for the first time. IBM claims it will provide the equivalent of two generations of Moore's Law wiring performance improvements in a single step, using conventional manufacturing processes.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll