IBM Chip to Give Wireless Devices a Boost
By putting transistors for both communication and computing on a single chip, IBM says it will be able to greatly improve performance and reduce power consumption of wireless devices.IBM is touting a new chip design it says will improve the performance of wireless devices four times and reduce power consumption by up to 80 percent. Key to the technology is IBMs ability to put transistors for both communication and computing onto a single chip, according to the Armonk, N.Y., company. Currently they reside on separate chipsthe communication on SiGe (silicon germanium) bipolar chips and CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) chips for computing.
According to an announcement by Big Blue Tuesday at the 2003 Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting in Toulouse, France, the breakthrough came when researchers discovered a way to house SiGe bipolar chips on a silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer. Before, only the CMOS chips could be built on the SOI wafer. Now both can be built on the same wafer.