IBM's System-On-A-Chip Combines Logic, Memory Circuits

Expect faster Internet routers, combination PC/cell phones, and other wireless and desktop devices. The latest impetus comes from system-on-a-chip technology announced by IBM Corp.'s Microelectronics Div., East Fishkill, N.Y. Leveraging its prowess in chip-making, IBM has found a way to efficiently place both logic and memory circuits on a single piece of silicon. With the new technology, 24 million gates (circuits) -- equal to as much as eight times the processing and two to four times the memory found on today's typical PC -- can be packed on a single chip. It's made possible by thinner copper wiring used in combination with circuitry as small as 0.15 micron. IBM plans to start designing custom chips in April.

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