SAN JOSE, Calif. IBM, Chartered, Infineon and Samsung have produced chips on a common 45-nm process technology, the companies said.
The four companies announced Tuesday (Aug. 29) that they have developed their first functional chips based on a low-power, 45-nm process technology. For some time, Chartered, IBM, Infineon and Samung have been collaborating on the development of advanced process technologies as part of a major alliance.
The first working circuits in 45-nm technology, targeted at next-generation communication systems, were jointly developed by the four alliance partners, they said.
The chips were produced at IBM Corp.'s 300-mm fab in East Fishkill, N.Y. Many of the verified blocks are standard library cells and I/O elements provided by Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany).
The process is said to be compatible across various fabs within the four companies. "Our early hardware results indicate that the 45-nm node device performance is at least 30 percent greater than that of the 65-nm node, and that product developers can design to this process with confidence," said Lisa Su, vice president of semiconductor research and development at IBM and the head of the joint development alliance, in a statement.
"By leveraging the significant R&D and IP resources available worldwide across this alliance of industry leaders, we are able to bring manufacturing technology and design readiness to the market much sooner and effectively for customers than working individually," Su said. "And, the additional benefit to customers is the flexibility in accessing the technology thanks to the GDSII compatibility across multiple manufacturing facilities."
The 45-nm, low-power process is expected to be installed and qualified at Chartered, IBM and Samsung by the end of 2007. Infineon did not provide a timetable for its 45-nm process. The early design kits are developed through a collaborative effort by all four companies and are immediately available for select customers.
It, however, appears that the four companies are slightly behind the competition. Earlier this year, Intel Corp. disclosed the initial details of its 45-nm process and claimed that it has produced the world's first chips based on the technology. The announcement demonstrates that Intel's 45-nm process is on track and expected to be ready for mass production in the second half of 2007.
Bidding to get a jump on its foundry rivals, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) recently disclosed the first details of its new 45-nm process. Foundry giant TSMC has pulled in its introduction date and intends to move into risk production in the third quarter of 2007,