PowerPC970FX s IBM 90nm, SOI, Strained Silicon Chip

IBM today announced it has developed a new method
of manufacturing low power, high performance microprocessors using an
industry-first combination of silicon-on-insulator (SOI), strained silicon and
copper wiring technologies. IBM is putting the technique immediately to work in
volume 90 nanometer production at its 300mm manufacturing facility.

Powered by 58 million transistors, 64-bit PowerPC 970FX microprocessor will be the first
chip built using this trio of IBM technology breakthroughs. Early PowerPC 970FX
chips produced with the new technology deliver significant power savings, while
performing at an equal or higher clock speed than comparable processors. The
company expects to realize even greater gains in processor efficiency as it
ramps production of the new process technology.

PowerPC970FX IBM 90nm, SOI, Strained Silicon Chip

IBM today announced it has developed a new method
of manufacturing low power, high performance microprocessors using an
industry-first combination of silicon-on-insulator (SOI), strained silicon and
copper wiring technologies. IBM is putting the technique immediately to work in
volume 90 nanometer production at its 300mm manufacturing facility. The
company’s award-winning 64-bit PowerPC 970FX microprocessor will be the first
chip built using this trio of IBM technology breakthroughs. Early PowerPC 970FX
chips produced with the new technology deliver significant power savings, while
performing at an equal or higher clock speed than comparable processors. The
company expects to realize even greater gains in processor efficiency as it
ramps production of the new process technology.

"Our decades-long commitment to pursuing and rapidly implementing technology
breakthroughs like SOI and strained silicon is paving the way for a new
generation of power savvy chips," said Bernard S. Meyerson, IBM Fellow and chief
technologist, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "With this fusion of
IBM-pioneered technologies, customers no longer have to sacrifice performance to
achieve the power savings they increasingly demand."

Today, chip designers and manufacturers are confronted by conflicting pursuits
of increased processing speed and reduced power consumption. Typically, in order
to achieve one of these goals, chip-makers need to sacrifice or significantly
impair the other — trading power consumption for performance (and vice versa).
IBM conquered this challenge by integrating strained silicon and SOI into the
same manufacturing process. This breakthrough speeds the flow of electrons
through transistors to increase performance and provide an insulating layer in
the silicon that isolates transistors to decrease power consumption.

PowerPC Power Tuning

IBM’s versatile new PowerPC 970FX microprocessor is designed for use in a wide
array of applications, from desktops to servers to storage and communications
products, which require 64-bit performance and/or low power consumption from a
microprocessor. Apple has announced that it will use the PowerPC 970FX in its
powerful new Xserve G5 1U rack-mount server. The 970FX also takes advantage of
another new IBM-refined power saving technique–enabled through sophisticated
system-wide tuning and controlling of processor frequency and voltage–which
will be detailed in a presentation at the International Solid-State Circuit
Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco on February 16.

The PowerPC 970FX recently garnered the Microprocessor Report Analysts’ Choice
Award for Best Desktop Processor, ahead of the Intel Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon 64
FX-51. The award was announced February 5 in San Jose. Derived from IBM’s
award-winning POWER4 dual-core microprocessor, the PowerPC 970FX provides users
with unrivaled 64-bit computing power, allowing new applications to virtually
address an astounding 18 exabytes (18 billion billion bytes) of memory while
also running 32-bit applications natively to enable continued use of legacy
software as they migrate to 64-bit applications. The design of the 970FX also
supports symmetric multi-processing (SMP), allowing systems to be created that
link multiple processors to work in tandem for additional processing power. The
PowerPC 970FX uses the same underlying IBM POWER architecture behind families of
IBM microprocessors that power products ranging from consumer electronics to
supercomputers.