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Wednesday, May 09, 2007
IBM's airgap nanotechnology - video
IBM has developed a technique for the ‘self assembly’ of air gaps around nano-scale wires, using them to act as the dielectric to speed up performance.
Researchers at IBM’s Almaden Research Centre in California and the T.J. Watson Research Centre in New York state used a mix of compounds that is poured onto a silicon wafer with the wired chip patterns, then baked. The compounds self assemble to create uniform holes 20nm in diameter around the wires, creating a vacuum dielectric.
"This is the first time anyone has proven the ability to synthesize mass quantities of these self-assembled polymers and integrate them into an existing manufacturing process with great yield results," said Dan Edelstein, IBM Fellow and chief scientist of the self-assembly airgap project. "By moving self assembly from the lab to the fab, we are able to make chips that are smaller, faster and consume less power than existing materials and design architectures allow."
Test chips use 15 percent less energy or run 35% faster, and the technique is expected to be used in the POWER server chips in 2009.
See more on IBM and HP nanotechnology here.