Strained silicon to accelerate transistors by 24 percent

Sunnyvale (CA) - AMD and IBM have developed a strained silicon transistor technology which the firms believe will dramatically increase processor performance. Prototype transistors posted a 24 percent performance gain while running at the same power levels transistors produced without the technology.

The jointly developed strained silicon for the first time is compatible with silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology. According to the firms, the process can be used to tackle electrical leakage and inefficient switching which result from transistor scaling and increased transistor frequency.

"Innovative process technologies such as strained silicon enable AMD to deliver more value to our customers," said Dirk Meyer, executive vice president, of the Computation Products Group at AMD.

AMD intends to integrate the new strained silicon technology into all of its 90 nm processor platforms, including its future multi-core AMD64 processors. The first 90 nm AMD64 chips using the technology are scheduled to be available in the first half of 2005, the company said.

IBM plans to introduce the technology on "multiple" 90 nm processor platforms, which include its Power architecture-based chips, with the first products slated to begin shipping in the first half of 2005, according to a statement.

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