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IBM Opens New Microprocessor Facility

IBM Opens New Microprocessor Facility

by , 6:00 PM EDT, August 9th, 2002

IBM recently announced the opening of a new semiconductor development and production facility in East Fishkill, New York. It is believed to be the most advanced 300mm semiconductor facility of its kind. According to the IBM press release:

The facility combines IBM's chip-making technologies -- such as copper wiring, silicon-on-insulator -based transistors and improved ("low-k dielectric") insulation...

The move is apparently designed to decrease chip manufacturing costs, due to the larger 300mm wafers as well as improve the ability to bring new products to market quickly.

It will house both development and manufacturing, helping IBM more easily transfer its unique set of chip-making technologies into high-volume production.

"Technology continues to be one of our cornerstones in delivering value to our customers," [IBM President and Chief Executive Officer Sam] Palmisano said. "We are re-invigorating our Microelectronics business and are confident that we have the right formula of technology and expertise with a business that is focused on the strategic areas that play to our strengths."

Work on prototypes has already begun at the facility and volume production will follow later this year.

The Mac Observer Spin:

While this manufacturing facility may or may not be connected to the recent rumblings of a new IBM PowerPC processor, it is an important indicator in general. IBM is still investing in, and expanding its semiconductor division while others like Motorola continue to cut staffing. It's good to see that someone is planning for the future instead of reacting to the present.

If Apple is indeed ready for a change in its high performance chip vendor, IBM should prove to be a better option than Intel.

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