IBM to produce 0.09-micron chips
C|Net is reporting that IBM will start producing 0.09-micron chips in the second half of next year. The 0.09-micron process is being used to build FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) chips for chip designer Xilinx, and though the chips are unlikely to see action in PCs, they should give IBM some valuable experience working with 0.09-micron manufacturing technology.
Remember that IBM's upcoming PowerPC 970 desktop PC processor is being built on a 0.13-micron manufacturing process, and should debut clocked at 1.8GHz in the second half of next year. By then, 1.8GHz might not be enough to compete with AMD's Hammer or the latest Pentium 4 chips from Intel, but if all goes well with the production of Xilinx's 0.09-micron FPGA chips, IBM could give the PowerPC 970 a quick die shrink.