A Renaissance for Chip Technologies
New chip and transistor breakthroughs are arriving from AMD, Intel and IBM.The end of 2001 is turning out to be a banner period for semiconductor technologies. On the heels of an announcement from Intel that it has perfected a promising new manufacturing process for transistors, Adavanced Micro Devices Inc. and IBM have also announced chip-manufacturing breakthroughs. AMD has built a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) transistor that, AMD claims, achieves the fastest switching speeds ever seen in the chip industry. The new device is a 15-nanometer gate length (.015-micron), 0.8-volt prototype for transistors that AMD will build into future processors. Its designed to handle switching speeds of 3.3 trillion switches per second. By 2009, AMD researchers foresee using a 30-nanometer process on 300-mm wafers, with exponentially faster switching speeds.
Craig Sander, vice president of AMDs technology development group, said: "This look-ahead research gives us confidence in our long-term roadmaps and strategies, while providing spin-off technology that feeds our near-term development program."