GOLDEN, Colo.--Isonics Corp. here has disclosed that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is studying the potential benefits of using silicon-28 wafer substrates to produce microprocessor products.
Silicon-28 material offers potential benefits in high-thermal conductivity, according to Isonics, which has been developing isotopically engineered wafers and chemicals for semiconductor fabrication. Earlier this year, the Colorado company hinted that a major microprocessor had become a development partner, but it only last week did Isonics identify AMD as that company.
Two weeks ago, AMD executives surprised financial analysts by announcing that the company would move 100% of its PC processors to silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers during the next several years (see July 13 story). SOI technology adds a layer of oxide between silicon layers, which reduces lost energy when transistors are operating at high frequencies. The silicon-on-insulator sandwich promises 20-to-30% performance gains over standard CMOS silicon wafers, according to SOI proponents.
It is not clear how or when AMD could also potentially use silicon-28 wafers in processor products.
Publicly-traded Isonics has faced a difficult year, including a dispute with its production partner, Eagle-Picher Technologies LLC, which was accused of failing to deliver silicon-28 wafers (see March 22 story).