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IBM to enlist high-k metal gate technology with its 45nm chips

Alongside Intel’s news of 45nm process technology, IBM today announced its own 45nm technological advancements that apply to products manufactured in its East Fishkill, NY plant starting in 2008.

Working with AMD and its other development partners including Sony and Toshiba, IBM has found a way to construct a critical part of the transistor with high-k metal gates, that substitutes a new material into a critical portion of the transistor that controls its primary on/off switching function. The material provides superior electrical properties compared to its predecessor, silicon dioxide, enhancing the transistor's function while also reducing leakage.

As important as the new material is the method for introducing it into current manufacturing techniques. The creation of this transistor component with the new material was accomplished by the IBM team without requiring major tooling or process changes in manufacturing - an essential element if the technology is to be economically viable.

“Until now, the chip industry was facing a major roadblock in terms of how far we could push current technology,” said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president of Science and Technology, IBM Research. “After more than ten years of effort, we now have a way forward. With chip technology so pervasive in our everyday lives, this work will benefit people in many ways.”



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45nm
By IntelUser2000 on 1/28/2007 5:31:08 AM , Rating: 3
If some people thought Intel was the only one knowing marketing tactics, they are wrong. Announcing their 45nm process the same day Intel announces is to calm the IBM/AMD investors/fans for the fact they don't really have a near term solution to Intel's 45nm. It's pretty good imo.

Funny, they were also dismissing Intel's High K soon as Intel announced it. AMD also said they'll catch up at 65nm node, if anyone actually bothers to check the closest AMD had to catching up Intel was the 180nm node, which was 5 months. Intel sure did increase the lead.




RE: 45nm
By Viditor on 1/28/2007 7:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Funny, they were also dismissing Intel's High K soon as Intel announced it

As you say, marketing tactics...
I seem to recall a great deal of derision from Intel over x86-64 as well.


RE: 45nm
By Lonyo on 1/28/2007 10:40:39 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, but that was justified in some ways.
It's been 3 1/2 years or so, and only now (IMO) with the release of Vista are we going to see more widespread adoption of 64-bit versions of operating systems in the mainstream (server market not withstanding, I don't know what the adoption rate was there), but 45nm we could see in use by the end of the year, and (Intel probably hope) widespread adoption of 45nm processors too.

I've had an x86-64 processor for quite a long while, and I won't get an x86-64 OS until probably June of this year at the earliest. And the CPU to go with it will probably be a Core 2 Duo, which is a relatively new CPU, soon to be built on the 45nm process :P


RE: 45nm
By Smurfer2 on 1/28/2007 10:52:42 AM , Rating: 2
Lonyo,

I feel the same way. Vista will be my first 64bit OS too. I will first get a new processor. (64bit netburst CPU's are only so great, lol) Then at a later point I will get Vista, just not sure when yet.


RE: 45nm
By shady28 on 1/28/2007 11:45:16 AM , Rating: 2
There is something to be said for the Athlon 64 in terms of longevitiy compared to Intels previous products. ie, as 64 bit OS and applications hit the mainstream over the next few years, those who have a 64 bit A64 will see performance boosts (see link below showing 5-20% boosts in performnace on 64 bit os & software benchmarks).

Naturally core 2 is still faster in 64 bit mode, no question. However, Intel really hasn't had anything of value in the 64 bit world until the last 7 or 8 months. Keep in mind the original 'core duo' was not truly 64 bit.

None of this helps AMD looking forward, except to say that prior to Core 2 AMD was demonstrating a lot of vision in looking to the 64 bit world. It also means the A64 will have much longer legs than its Pentium 4 class rivals :

http://www.devhardware.com/c/a/Computer-Processors...

" This is why the newest Star Wars was rendered on AMD A64's and XP x64. They even used the beta version of XP x64. "


RE: 45nm
By IntelUser2000 on 1/28/2007 11:42:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Keep in mind the original 'core duo' was not truly 64 bit.


Core Duo doesn't have 64 bit at all.

If you meant the current Core 2 Duo, yes it does have true 64-bit support. If you are talking about Core 2 Duo having lack of Macro Op Fusion at 64 bit, that's strictly a performance feature. It can run full "AMD64" regardless. The Pentium 4/Pentium D's before 2006 has partial implementation of the 64-bit.

Even then they are still full 64-bit. They are just not full AMD64.


RE: 45nm
By visaris on 1/28/2007 11:56:58 AM , Rating: 3
I disagree. I have been using a 64-bit OS for years. Further, all my apps are compiled for a 64-bit machine. Linux (Gentoo in particular) were supporting AMD64 in a meaningful way looong before Microsoft, and I've been there getting the benefit the whole time.

To say that Intel was justified in dismissing AMD64 is just silly. Intel tried to downplay the major advancement as long a possible, because it was effecting their precious Itanium line.

I see real world speed boosts of around 5%-10% when running 64-bit, and that is no small change when it comes for free. AMD64 will become the standard (already is), and from now on, instead of saying x86, what people will really mean is AMD64.


RE: 45nm
By Hyperlite on 1/28/2007 2:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
true, but what percent of the user base do you represent?


RE: 45nm
By Ringold on 1/28/2007 5:28:30 PM , Rating: 3
According to 2004 surveys, 2.8% of desktop computers ran a flavor of Linux.

10% of those desktop Linux boxes ran Gentoo (2006 survey).

Which means he represents .28% of the desktop market. :)

Though to be fair, several major distro's have 64bit version available, but not all. So. Maybe he represents 1% or 1.5% of the desktop computer install base. Linux hasn't exploded in growth since 2004, so probably still less than 4% or so of the current market.

In other words, not much. :)


RE: 45nm
By Viditor on 1/28/2007 11:23:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
and only now (IMO) with the release of Vista are we going to see more widespread adoption of 64-bit versions of operating systems in the mainstream (server market not withstanding, I don't know what the adoption rate was there),


That is indeed the key...remember that:
1. The server market is the most lucrative
2. The adoption of 64bit in servers has been VERY high
3. Windows 64bit, Linux, and even Solaris edition has been taking huge amounts of marketshare away from traditional Risc based servers.

You're right that consumer level is only just now happening, but x86-64 has been revolutionary in the server/commercial area for years now.

quote:
And the CPU to go with it will probably be a Core 2 Duo, which is a relatively new CPU, soon to be built on the 45nm process

Fair enough, and I don't blame you. But if you plan on 64bit, AMD still appears to have the edge...and 45nm won't be available to you for ~another year.
That said, if I were getting a consumer PC in June, it would also be a C2D...


RE: 45nm
By RockfordFile on 1/29/2007 12:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
What you're forgetting though is that it wasn't just "64-bitness" that AMD's strategy was all about. Intel spent 10+ years developing a proprietary 64-bit solution that required not only special motherboards and slots (to say nothing of a terribly humungous processor unit that ran very hot, soaked all kinds of power, and was very expensive), but a completely new platform. This forced any company/department thinking about upgrading to a supposedly better technology to have to consider the huge cost of switching EVERYTHING, hardware AND software.

AMD called Intel's bluff, spent far fewer years in development, delivered on promises (mostly) and ended up with an inexpensive, viable, market-tapping solution that did not require major hardware or software costs. AMD's strategy was about recognizing the economics of the customers Intel was aiming Itanium at, and acting intelligently to predict their concerns and address the overriding problem in Intel's strategy.

If you ask me, AMD made Intel out to be a fool for missing such a compartively simple and ingenius solution to the problem. 64-bit may still not be here, but it will be someday, and by then the younger generation of software engineers will already have cut their teeth developing on ancient AMD64 CPUs.


RE: 45nm
By JackPack on 1/29/2007 3:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you ask me, AMD made Intel out to be a fool for missing such a compartively simple and ingenius solution to the problem.

Nobody missed the obvious x86-64 solution. Intel's Yamhill x86-64 project began even before AMD's.

The point of IA-64 was to eliminate the Technology Exchange Agreement between Intel and AMD. IBM in the 1980s stipulated that Intel license its x86 chips to someone else (AMD) so that IBM would not be stuck with single source of supply. Intel wanted IA-64 to replace x86 so that it would be game over for AMD. IA-64 has been successful with commercial workloads and in the 16+ socket space due to its massive FP performance advantage. But general computing needs integer performance, an area IA-64 is not strong in.


RE: 45nm
By RockfordFile on 1/29/2007 4:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
That may be, but Yamhill or not, it wasn't Intel's core strategy until AMD released the Opteron and started outselling Intel and gaining ground with other vendors that previously wrote AMD off. It was a PR win for AMD for sure.

Hindsight may be 20/20, but Intel wanting to replace x86 with a new platform was a plan that had huge hurdles to overcome when IA-64 began, and those problems have only increased exponentially by this point. I think if anyone ends up moving away from x86, it'll be AMD, because I'm sure they don't want to be yoked to Intel to approve use of the technology, as much as Intel doesn't want to be yoked to AMD as a silent validation of AMD's competing business.

At some point they will diverge technologically, and AMD will have to work to differentiate and prove itself again, to remain Intel's most viable threat when running the same operating system in average households. They need to have another 5 years of homeruns on their roadmap to compete with the very strong 1999-2004 they had.


RE: 45nm
By Locutus465 on 1/29/2007 8:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, but that was justified in some ways.


Except Intel wasn't putting down x64 becaues they didn't want people to switch to 64bit, it's because they wanted people to switch to IA64 so they could be the only game in town.... Remember the old road maps that included cosumer level IA64 chips?


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