“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,” electricnews.net 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,” electricnews.net 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