Both AMD and IBM, who are collaborating on microprocessor design, presented papers this week at the International Electron Device Meeting outlining how they plan to use immersion lithography, ultra-low-K interconnect dielectrics and multiple enhanced transistor strain techniques to simplify the production of 45 nanometre processors. (No, we hadn't heard of transistor stain techniques before either.)
In grossly oversimplified terms, immersion lithography makes it easier to etch wafers filled with multiple chips by using a special transparent liquid between the wafer itself and the lithography system. "Immersion lithography will allow us to deliver enhanced microprocessor design definition and manufacturing consistency," AMD vice president of logic technology development Nick Kepler said.
AMD arch-rival and market leader Intel demonstrated 45 nanometre process technology in January, and has three fabrication plants which can use the process. AMD and IBM have a joint development agreement which runs until 2011.