World’s fastest chips

IBM has created the world’s fastest semiconductor circuit, operating at speeds of over 110 GHz.

The ring oscillator was built using IBM’s latest silicon germanium (SiGe) technology. IBM is now making the technology, dubbed ‘SiGe 8HP,’ available to top-tier communications equipment makers. The first chips built with the technology are expected to appear later this year.

Sierra Monolithics has been working with IBM on SiGe integrated circuit designs for a variety of communications applications since 1996 and will be one of the first companies to design circuits based on IBM’s new technology.

The ‘ring oscillator’ circuit built by IBM is a common building block used in communications chip designs and is frequently used to assess the capabilities of new chip-making technology, such as SiGe 8HP.

IBM first revealed its SiGe technology in 1989, and later introduced it into the industry’s first standard, high-volume SiGe chips in October 1998.

Since then, IBM’s SiGe technology has been adopted by a wide range of companies for a variety of applications, including RF components in cellular handsets, Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) chipsets, high-speed test and measurement equipment, and chipsets for optical data transmission systems.

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