IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced immediate availability of the semiconductor industry's first 45-nanometer (nm) Silicon on Insulator (SOI) foundry offering. The new offering adds industry-standard design tools and libraries to the intellectual property (IP) already available through IBM's existing SOI development infrastructure, and allows a wide range of client designs to take advantage of SOI's benefits. IBM testing has shown the potential for 45nm SOI to offer up to 30 percent performance improvement or 40 percent power reduction when compared to the industry-standard bulk complementary metal-oxide (CMOS) technology.
IBM was the first company to begin commercially shipping SOI technology in its server products during the 1990s. Custom designs for key clients took SOI to the market in a variety of applications including gaming, where IBM's SOI technology is currently used by all the major gaming providers continuing to help transform the gaming industry. Following the introduction of IBM's 45nm Cu-45 Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) SOI offering to customers a year ago, today's announcement of the 45nm SOI foundry access completes the SOI technology rollout to the industry.
“45nm is our 6th generation of SOI technology and is a key driver in many collaborative designs with clients – including networking, storage, gaming and other consumer applications,” said Mark Ireland, vice president, IBM Semiconductor Platforms. “Today's announcement is a progression of this deep experience, providing a world-class resource for the industry to build on this proven, next-generation technology.”
The new IBM 45nm SOI foundry offering represents decades of research and enables companies to take advantage of the cutting-edge technology that has been an integral part of IBM's system leadership. A key to SOI's expansion beyond high-end applications is the generation-to-generation decline in the cost differential between SOI and bulk CMOS technologies, as demonstrated by IBM's success with SOI in the cost competitive gaming console processor market. This price/performance leadership combined with ever- increasing application workload demands will create opportunities for SOI to expand into an even a broader range of consumer electronics, such as digital televisions and high-end mobile applications.
“This announcement from IBM, the industry leader in SOI technology, will continue to proliferate the adoption of SOI technology beyond the traditional high-end segment,” said Horacio Mendez, executive director, SOI Industry Consortium.