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.”