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28nm technology promises 40% more performance than 45nm tech

The IBM Technology Alliance -- including IBM, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Infineon Technologies, Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., and STMicroelectronics -- have announced that they have jointly defined and are developing a 28nm, high-K metal gate (HKMG), low power CMOS process technology.

IBM reports that the 28nm technology can provide power-performance and time-to-market advantages for makers of a variety of power-sensitive and consumer electronics devices like MIDs and smartphones. The new technology creates improved leakage characteristics that will optimize battery life for next-gen mobile devices.

The alliance has outlined a migration path from the current 32nm process that is being used to the new 28nm technology that requires no costly and time-consuming redesign of the components according to IBM.

IBM's Gary Patton said in a statement, "Through this collaboration, IBM and its alliance partners are helping to accelerate development of next-generation technology to achieve high-performance, energy-efficient chips at the 28nm process level, maintaining our focus on technology leadership for our clients and partners."

IBM says that early work with some clients has shown that the 28nm technology can provide a 40% performance improvement while saving up to 20% in power compared to 45nm technology devices. The HKMG implementation also makes for one of the industry's smallest SRAM cells reports IBM at only 0.120 square microns.

ST-Ericsson's Jorgen Lantto said, "This statement of commitment to 28nm low-power technology by the IBM Joint Development Alliance is an important progression from 32nm high-k metal gate technology. Leaders in the mobile industry can utilize 28nm low-power technology to meet the increasingly aggressive demands for performance and improved battery life."

IBM recently walked away from purchase talks with Sun after Sun's board balked at IBM offer.

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Compare to 32nm
By nafhan on 4/17/2009 10:37:58 AM , Rating: 3
Since this is going to be the half node following 32nm, shouldn't they be comparing power and performance to 32nm instead of 45?

RE: Compare to 32nm
By Amiga500 on 4/17/2009 10:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
Intel has previously stated 32nm has a 22% performance improvement over 45nm (power).

Dunno about clocks.

RE: Compare to 32nm
By Roy2001 on 4/17/2009 11:32:35 AM , Rating: 2
No one has a 32nm product, and customers of 28nm process would be formerly 45nm process customers. So it makes sense to compare to 45nm.

RE: Compare to 32nm
By quiksilvr on 4/17/2009 12:52:18 PM , Rating: 3
Also it sounds more epic: FORTY PERCENT BETTER! TWENTY TWO PERCENT BETTER doesn't roll off the tongue as smoothly as forty.

RE: Compare to 32nm
By MrPoletski on 4/20/2009 11:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
well then there isn't really a choice is there, despite it looking like there is.

So I suppose you could say that deciding between 40% or 22% is a catch 22 situation, therefore it's 22% better...

I love logic, so abusable.

RE: Compare to 32nm
By eilersr on 4/17/2009 11:37:30 AM , Rating: 2
If you dig into the press release and other statements from IBM ( has a good analysis), they are asserting that customers should skip the 45nm node and come straight to this one.

Not sure if I agree, but they are advertising the benefits over 45nm such that people will jump straight from 65nm. Not sure how likely that will occur, but that's the argument.

RE: Compare to 32nm
By psychobriggsy on 4/17/2009 3:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
Do you mean skip 32nm? TSMC are already on 40nm - AMD are selling graphics cards using 40nm chips already.

And yes, this makes sense - it looks like IBM is trying to do a half-node jump for than a full jump this time around in order to get an edge.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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