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IBM signs a deal with ARM

Smaller chips are the future
Tue Jan 18 2011, 12:47

CHIP OUTFITS IBM and ARM have announced that they are continuing their alliance into the 14nm manufacturing process size, which is minuscule compared to ARM chipmakers' current 40nm and 32nm offerings.

Currently the quest is to build smaller, faster chip designs that won't use as much power, which are being demanded by the designers of mobile computing devices.

Michael Cadigan, general manager at IBM Microelectronics said, "We plan to continue working closely with ARM and our foundry customers to speed the momentum of ARM technology by delivering highly advanced, low-power semiconductor technology for a variety of new communications and computing devices."

Needless to say, getting a mobile chip to the 14nm process node is a tricky proposition. There are all sorts of lithography and variability problems not to mention elves and faeries. However, smaller chips will pack more computing power, extend battery life and enable faster Internet access as well as handle multimedia and security.

The announcement that ARM is continuing its IBM alliance should really be no surprise. IBM and ARM have been collaborating since 2008. Previously they have managed to make refinements to system-on-a-chip density, routability, manufacturability, power consumption and performance. µ




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