IBM claims chip breakthrough

“Scientists at IBM say they have figured out how to produce smaller and more powerful microchips than previously thought possible. It is hoped IBM’s announcement at San Jose on Monday will mean the creation of miniscule microprocessors which will save the IT manufacturing sector billions of dollars,” reports via The Register. “The breakthrough revolves around the distance between the circuit-lines chip makers must ‘draw’ onto the surface of a computer processor. IBM scientists declared they can now draw lines on silicon much closer together than ever before. Current techniques are not expected to work on chips smaller than 32nm. However, staff at IBM Research have created structures on a processor measuring 29.9nm, using a form of deep-ultraviolet optical lithography.”

“The entire semiconductor industry exists under the threat of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who in 1965 predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would have to double every few years until it became physically impossible to fit them onto a processor,” reports. “‘Our goal is to push optical lithography as far as we can so the industry does not have to move to any expensive alternatives until absolutely necessary,’ IBM manager of lithography materials Dr Robert D Allen said. ‘This result is the strongest evidence to date that the industry may have at least seven years of breathing room before any radical changes in chip-making techniques would be needed,’ he said.”

Full article here.

CNET has more details in their report here.

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Related MacDailyNews article:
Intel reveals first glimpse of quad-core ‘Clovertown’ chip coming later this year – February 11, 2006


  1. It’s actually funny that IBM is trumpeting this breakthrough to ONE DAY produce processors at 30nm, yet they are still only producing chips at 90nm, while Intel’s newest shipping processors, including the Core Duo and Solo, are already being fabbed at 65nm.

    IBM loves to trumpet their achievements but fall short when it comes to delivering them.

  2. More IBM claims. Big deal. They always seem to make these types of announcements yet nothing ever seems to change.

    Like Amy Poehler said on SNL when she was playing Kelly to Darrell Hammond’s Regis, “When you say that stuff, Regis, all I hear is ‘blordy blorp blorp bloodle blorp.'”

  3. Of course IBM forgets how to make them cooler!!!

    Then they forget how to produce enough to meet demand, then they forget about protecting their technology and Intel just copies it.

    OHMG Sounds just like Apple, but now they are forced to use INFERIOR Intel processors.


  4. “Scientists at IBM say they have figured out how to produce smaller and more powerful microchips than previously thought possible”

    But they have decided not to do it. Or maybe they will. In fact, they’ll promise it, just in case they can deliver. But they probably can’t. And if they do, it will be late. And it won’t be a chip for computers, it will be for game machines and servers. And it will be really expensive. And other companies will do better sooner.

  5. IBM: We did it! We did it! We did it!

    Okay, yeah, you did it once. woo-hoo.

    How long will it take them to make the second chip at that size?

    And the third?

    And will the other chip makers have surpassed them in the three years it takes them to get that third chip off the assembly line?

    Yup, probably.

  6. Well I have to say that due to past events I would belive that they can do tyhis in a commerciual product WHEN I see it. I remember only a couple of years ago IBM boasting the very same breakthrough technologies that would put them ahead of the opposition for years to come. So far little or none of that promise hass been realised certainly in the mainstream desktop sector, though where it has it has been achieved by AMD using technologies that they have licenced from them.

    As they say, once bitten twice shy and if you include Freescales past promises we are even beyond that.

  7. What a bunch of wispy, go where the wind blows, posters.

    IBM has some brilliant engineers, just like Intel. Duh.

    Just be thankful that they (American’s) are making innovations and in the place where they are, and that we aren’t having to wait on The People’s Semiconductor of China to supply our technology.

  8. Remember: IBM used to be good, now they are bad, evil.
    So everyone please mock IBM, call them names.
    But if the Steve suddenly said today he was also going to use IBM and Intel chips all these same IBM haters would be telling wonderful things about IBM.

    Mindless Apple trolls.

  9. Show me the working processor (as in show me the money).

    Anyone else emember the origingal PowerPC hype and how it was going to be the revolutionary device that would blow X-86 out of the water?

    IBM, circa ’92 hype, unfullfilled.

    I wonder if their stock will go up with this latest revolutionary advance?

    I’m sure glad they’re saving the industry and extending existing technology for another 7 years. Thanks iBM.

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