AMD & IBM Team Up To Develop New Microprocessor Technologies

IBM and AMD announced a partnership yesterday for joint development of new microprocessor technologies, according to a Reuters story. Although details were not revealed, the new agreement is aimed at improving both AMD and IBMis competitiveness with Intel. From the article:

The companies will work to develop technology to make extremely small transistors -- the on-off switches in microprocessors -- that can be packed into faster and more efficient chips and manufactured more cheaply.

Specifically, AMD and IBM said they would target widths of 65 nanometers and 45 nanometers, roughly a measure of the space between transistors on the chip.

By comparison, AMD 90-nanometer products are slated for release in the first half of next year. Intel is expected to release a version of its Pentium 4 processor built on 90-nanometer technology in the second half of this year.

At the same time, AMD and IBM will work toward building chips on 300 millimeter silicon wafers, a larger size than AMD currently uses and a step that promises cost savings.

Both IBM and Intel already have production plants that use 300 millimeter wafers compared with the 200 millimeter wafers used by AMDis main fabrication plant.

More information on the partnership, including comments from analysts, can be found in the original Reuters story.