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Chips could be smaller and cheaper

Researchers at US technology firm IBM have discovered that current chip-making technology has the potential to make computer processors even tinier and cheaper than was first thought.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 13:01 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Researchers at US technology firm IBM have discovered that current chip-making technology has the potential to make computer processors even tinier and cheaper than was first thought.

IBM scientists that released the findings at a technology conference in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose on Monday said the industry had a reprieve from the predicted need to switch to more costly, unproven chip-making methods.

The commonly-used process of optical lithography has the potential to make chip circuitry more than a third as narrow as is standard in electronics today, according to IBM. “This means higher density memory or higher memory capacity in a smaller package.

The chip people can go either way,” said Mike Ross, IBM spokesperson. IBM scientists have created the tiniest, high-quality line patterns ever made using deep-ultraviolet optical lithography, a technology currently used to ‘print’ circuits on chips.

The distinct and uniformly spaced ridges are only 29.9 nanometers wide, with a nanometer being a mere billionth of a meter. This is less than one-third the size of the 90-nanometer features now in mass production.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 13:01 IST