The speed of the new transistors is only part of their appeal, says Myerson. "Silicon-germanium chips are basically silicon," he said. "Ninety-nine percent of the process steps are common." That means that IBM can build the chips on the same production line as its other silicon products, like the PowerPC chips used in Apple Computer Inc.is Macintosh line. The only major difference is an extra step in which germanium vapor is deposited onto the silicon.That extra step is crucial in both its simplicity and the ability to keep manufacturing costs down.
Donit wait around to see this in your beloved PowerPC though, this bit of hi-tech is earmarked for the telecommunications industry.
We would like to thank Observer Maarten Stieperaere for the heads up on this development.