AMD and IBM put chips on power diet

AMD and IBM have teamed up to develop new chip producing techniques that in turn should reduce the power consumption of their respective computer processors

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  December 13, 2005

AMD and IBM have teamed up to develop new chip producing techniques that in turn should reduce the power consumption of their respective computer processors. The two processes they have come up with – called embedded silicon germanium and stress memorization – will be used in the production of both companies’ 65-nanometer chips, which should be released in the second half of 2006. The companies claim this straining process makes the silicon layers in their chips rigid and uniform, which aids the transfer of electrons. The firms believe that when these techniques have been finally incorporated into the manufacturing process, the power consumption of the chips produced could be reduced by up to 40%. Cell chips, which are being used in products such as Sony’s PlayStation3, and AMD’s Opteron processors will both now be produced using the aforementioned processes, though existing ‘silicon on insulators’ and ‘dual-stress liner’ techniques will still also be employed. Intel and Texas Instruments have already begun releasing chips based on the smaller 65-nanometer manufacturing process, although they use different techniques to manage power consumption.

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