Motorola and 'low-k' Tech

The Register notes that Motorola has successfully implemented 'low-k dielectric materials' in its current 0.18 micron SOI processors and plan on implementing it in a 0.13 micron process this month. This technology is said to provide a 20% performace boost to processors.

    Reducing that cross-circuit interference with low-k dielectrics allows transistors to switch more quickly and draw less power. The trouble is, implementing low-k dielectrics has not proved easy - new materials require new methods, all of which must be thoroughly proved before they can be implemented in commercial products.

Motorola did not give specifics on particular processors, but was quoted as targeting steady improvements: "Our goal is to stay with a frequency doubling every 18 months or so, and get into the 2GHz range for PowerPC, but at very low power consumption of, say, 20W."