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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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By radializer on 4/17/2009 4:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
IBM in the original article states:
quote:
Preliminary results working with early access clients and partners indicate that the 28nm technology platform can provide a 40 percent performance improvement and a more than 20 percent reduction in power -- all in a chip that is half the size -- compared with 45nm technology. The high-k metal gate implementation allows one of the industry's smallest SRAM cells at 0.120 square microns, with low minimum voltage operation and competitive performance, leakage and stability.


This would lead one to believe that there is really only one single "45nm technology" and that they provide a 20% drop in power and 40% boost in performance relative to this technology. However, this is somewhat misleading since - not all 45nm technologies are created equal . There are several dimensions to performance and power which depend on multiple factors in the process details - too numerous to mention in one place.

Most major companies come out with publications at the IEEE conference - International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM). Searching the IEEE site (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/) for 45nm papers over 2005-2008, one would find multiple entries by IBM/AMD, TSMC, Intel, Toshiba, TI, etc.

A detailed evaluation would easily show that they are quite different in their individual implementations of the 45nm node. Therefor, stating something can be 40% better but not providing a reference makes this a "fluff-piece" press release ... something IBM has definitely done in the past! The "me-too" high-k/metal gate press release in 2007 November comes to mind.




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