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IBM claims new dual-gate transistor design

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DQW Bureau
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Weeks after Intel announced a revolutionary new transistor design, IBM said it too has developed a new faster, smaller transistor that use less power.

The IBM technology is expected to be used by businesses in IBM's high-performance computer servers by 2005 or 2006, said Bijan Davari, IBM Vice President of semiconductor development. A few years later, it will trickle down to the average consumer. "This basically means enormous computing power at the handheld Internet-connected device level, which will enable real-time speech recognition as well as video imaging," Davari said.





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The IBM transistors use a "double-gate" design. Gates control the flow of electrons between the source and drain. Typically a transistor has just one gate. The "vertical" IBM transistors with two gates to allow for twice the amount of current to flow from source to drain. That means the transistor's speed will increase by 25 to 50 percent. And increased flow control means transistors can be made smaller and will consume less power.

Two weeks ago, Intel said its new transistor technology will allow the company to build transistors that are 500 times faster than today's leading-edge transistors. Like IBM's new transistors they are expected to show up in ICs in 2005 or 2006.

"People are working on transistor technology because. Transistor technology hasn't been set and there are a lot of key issues as we move forward and down the technology curve to keep pace with Moore's law. So the area you are going to see the majority of the changes in during the next 15 years is the transistor," said Gartner analyst Dean Freeman said.

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