New transistor uses 80% less power

IBM has announced an innovative chip design that can improve performance fourfold or reduce power consumption fivefold in wireless devices compared to the state-of-the-art thin-silicon bipolar technology.

Today, complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices are widely used to build devices such as microprocessors, while silicon germanium (SiGe) bipolar devices are deployed in the design of radio frequency communications and analog chips.

Now, a new process developed by IBM, allows both these CMOS and SiGe devices to be built on the same wafer, a feat that will eventually allow chip designers to integrate high performance wireless and processing systems on the same device.

‘The new chip design could be implemented within five years, enabling applications such as video streaming on cell phones,’ said Dr. T. C. Chen, Vice President of Science and Technology at IBM Research.

IBM presented details of this new development , illustrated <a href=’http://www.e4engineering.com/content_images/ibm23w5r.gif’>here</a>, at the 2003 Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting taking place this week in Toulouse, France.

The project was a collaboration between researchers and developers at the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center, IBM Research and IBM Microelectronics Division.