SAN JOSE -- At Microprocessor Forum here, IBM Corp. disclosed plans to produce a new 64-bit processor, called Power4, which will be made with copper interconnects and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers.
The Power4 will integrate two 1-GHz processors on a single chip and consist of 170 million transistors, according to a presentation by IBM Microelectronics. The 64-bit Power4 will become the main processing engine for IBM's servers in 2001, the company said. Power4-based AS/400 and RS/6000 servers are planned for introduction in the second half of 2001.
IBM's next-generation processor will be fabricated with 0.18-micron technology using seven layers of copper metal for interconnect. An advanced glass ceramic packaging technology is being developed for the processor, IBM said. In addition, a Power4 multi-chip module is in the works to pack eight processor chips in an area that's the size of the palm of a hand, IBM said.
The processor chip will have three levels of cache and more than 100 gigabytes-per-second bandwidth speed to move data from second-level cache to the central processing units. According to IBM, the next-generation processor will be able to transfer data between chips at speeds greater than 500 MHz with a bandwidth between Power4 devices of more than 35 gigabytes per second.
The Power4 processors will be fully compatible with IBM's current server systems, according to the material presented at the forum on Tuesday.