IBM and Samsung are among the high-profile names in a consortium developing a 28-nanometer (nm) chip platform designed for the fast-growing mobile Internet device market segment. The companies said that “early risk” production of the chips is expected in the second half of 2010. The chip is set to become a major competitor to solutions from established silicon vendors such as Intel and AMD. In a statement, IBM said that early tests had indicated that the 28nm technology platform can provide a 40 percent performance improvement and a more than 20 percent reduction in power compared with 45nm technology – in a chip half the size.
Competitors such as Intel currently supply 45nm chips but are planning to launch 32nm silicon later this year. IBM said that its alliance is already working with clients on 32nm low-power technology and is offering a migration path from 32nm to 28nm, which it claims will offer density and power advantages without the need for a major redesign. Companies in the new chip initiative include IBM, Chartered Semiconductor, Global Foundries, Infineon Technologies, Samsung and STMicroelectronics. In separate news, NEC and Renesas have both denied reports in the Japanese media that they are in negotiations to merge. A deal would create the world’s third-largest chipmaker, behind Intel and Samsung.