IBM AND ITS "technology alliance" have announced they'll be moving to 28nm process technology, perfect for small, low-powered, consumer devices and delivering a swift sharp kick to Intel's shins.
IBM, along with the additional fab five, Chartered Semiconductor, GlobalFoundries (sic), Infineon Technologies, Samsung Electronics and ST Microelectronics will apparently be jointly developing the 28nm, high-k metal gate (HKMG) tech, extending an existing development agreement between the six.
The new tech is touted as being capable of providing a 40 per cent performance boost and a 20 per cent reduction in power guzzlage on a chip half the size of those made using current 45nm process.
IBM and co. are also lauding the tech's power-performance and time-to-market advantages, as well as the ‘hardly-leaky-at-all' HKMG technology, good for bumped-up battery life.
The move is especially significant to AMD spinoff, GlobalFoundries, which is busy floundering around for new third-party customers to chip away for.
GloFo's director of corporate communications, Jon Carvill [JoCa? Ed.] said there had already been "tremendous interest from prospective customers" and that moving to half-node 28nm tech strengthens the firm's ability to "compete and win in the graphics business".
Carvill notes GF plans to adopt 28nm designs by the second half of 2010 in its Dresden fab and start production soon after. As far as 32nm is concerned, Carvill insists the firm is still on track to accept 32nm designs in late 2009 and ramp production in the first half of 2010. He adds that the new 28nm tech will be GlobalFoundries' second-generation process node with high-k metal gate.
Another firm excited by the announcement is little British Chippie, ARM, which teamed up with the IBM alliance in September last year and announced its ARM Cortex processor on 28nm HKMG technology at the Mobile World Congress back in February.
ARM's executive vice president and general manager of the physical IP division, Simon Segars, noted the announcement was a "significant advancement of the HKMG technology" which would allow for "aggressive product designs while accelerating their time to market."
The move will be a slap in the face to Intel, whose CEO, Paul Otellini, said Tuesday Chipzilla would accelerate the release of its 32nm "Westmere" to sometime later this year. µ
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