IBM creates fast SiGe integrated circuits

FEBRUARY 28--IBM Microelectronics (www.chips.ibm.com) has created semiconductor circuits that can operate at speeds of greater than 110 GHz and process an electrical signal in 4.3 trillionths of a second

FEBRUARY 28--IBM Microelectronics (www.chips.ibm.com)
has created the semiconductor circuits that can operate at speeds of greater than 110 GHz and process an electrical signal in 4.3 trillionths of a second. The circuits are built using IBM's latest silicon germanium (SiGe) chip-making technology, extending basic silicon to speeds never thought possible. IBM is now making the technology, dubbed "SiGe 8HP," available to top-tier communications-equipment makers to help increase the speed of today's networks. The first chips built with the technology are expected to appear later this year.

Said Bernard Meyerson, IBM Fellow and vice president of the IBM Communications Research and Development Center, "We're translating SiGe's benefits into real customer applications. With multiple SiGe technologies, a full suite of design tools, and a significantly expanded R&D operation, we have the resources to help anticipate and meet our customers' communications requirements."

Sierra Monolithics Inc. has been working with IBM on SiGe integrated-circuit designs for a variety of communications applications since 1996 and will be one of the first companies to design circuits based on IBM's new technology.

In its recent report 2002 McClean Report, IC Insights estimates that SiGe sales totaled $320 million in 2001 and are projected to grow to about $2.7 billion by 2006. The report estimates that IBM SiGe revenues grew 86% 2001 over 2000, representing more than 80% of total 2001 SiGe business.

IBM first revealed its SiGe technology in 1989 and later introduced it into the industry's first standard, high-volume SiGe chips in October 1998. Since then, IBM's SiGe technology has been adopted by a wide range of companies for a variety of applications, including RF components in cellular handsets, wireless local-area-network chipsets, high-speed test-and-measurement equipment, and chipsets for optical-data-transmission systems.

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