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AMD And IBM Debut New Silicon Technology

AMD and IBM have developed a new strained silicon transistor technology that the companies hope will improve processor performance and power efficiency. According to AMD, the process offers up to a 24 percent transistor speed increase at the same power levels as similar transistors produced without the technology.

The transistors lay the foundation for higher performance, lower-power processors. The strained silicon is aimed at overcoming the challenges of producing smaller transistors, which generally operate at higher power and have heat issues. The AMD-IBM strained silicon works with silicon-on-insulator technology, which the companies claim results in an additive performance and power-savings benefit.

AMD will gradually integrate the new strained silicon technology into all of its 90-nm processor platforms, including its future multi-core AMD64 processors. AMD plans to ship the first 90nm AMD64 processors using the technology in the first half of 2005.

IBM intends to introduce the technology on multiple 90nm processor platforms, including its Power Architecture-based chips, with the first products slated to begin shipping in the first half of 2005.

Further details of the AMD-IBM Dual Stress Liner technology will be discussed this week at the 2004 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.