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IBM semi alliance loving 28 nm technology

Los Angeles (CA) – IBM and its posse of semiconductor manufacturers, including Samsung and STMicroelectronics, is putting its weight behind the joint development of a 28-nanometer (nm), high-k metal gate (HKMG), low-power bulk complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process technology. The target? Mobile Internet devices with optimized battery life.

Low-power, 28nm technology and the favorable leakage characteristics of the HKMG technology are supposed to result in optimized battery life for the next generation of mobile products. This announcement represents an extension of existing joint development agreements building on earlier joint development work in 32nm HKMG technology.

In work with companies that have had early access to the technology, the 28 nm platform is claimed to provide a 40% performance improvement and a more than 20% reduction in power – all in a chip that is half the size – compared with 45 nm technology.
 
The high-k metal gate implementation allows one of the industry’s smallest SRAM cells at 0.120 square microns, with low minimum voltage operation and competitive performance, leakage and stability. The IBM alliance claims that unlike poly/SiON, the HKMG low-power technology breaks is better at scaling, providing a power and performance advantage for manufacturers without the need for complex processes.

The alliance is made of  IBM, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Globalfoundries, Infineon, Samsung Electronics and STMicroelectronics.