IBM today 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. To improve the
reliability of wireless devices, chip manufacturers have created SiGe BiCMOS
chips that put computing and communications transistors onto one chip instead of
using separate chips for computing and communications applications. CMOS
computing chips show higher performance when built atop a thin silicon on
insulator (SOI) wafer. However, traditional SiGe bipolar transistors cannot be
built on a thin SOI wafer. Until now, no one had been able to find a technique
to combine CMOS and SiGe bipolar onto one wafer that would maximize the
performance of both.

IBM today 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. To improve the
reliability of wireless devices, chip manufacturers have created SiGe BiCMOS
chips that put computing and communications transistors onto one chip instead of
using separate chips for computing and communications applications. CMOS
computing chips show higher performance when built atop a thin silicon on
insulator (SOI) wafer. However, traditional SiGe bipolar transistors cannot be
built on a thin SOI wafer. Until now, no one had been able to find a technique
to combine CMOS and SiGe bipolar onto one wafer that would maximize the
performance of both.

IBM is the first to build SiGe bipolar using a thin SOI wafer,
thereby paving the way to build SiGe bipolar and CMOS on the same thin SOI
wafer, maximizing the performance of both the computing and communications
functions. The new chip design is expected to be implemented within five years,
boosting the performance of applications such as streaming video on cell phones.
The chips will be manufactured using next-generation 65 nanometer, equal to
1/500th the width of a human hair, or even smaller 45 nanometer processes.