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IBM and 45nm Chip Development
Specifically, the companies hope to develop a photomask process, which would be used to etch patterns of integrated circuits onto silicon wafers, to enable early production of advanced 45nm semiconductors.
IBM's PowerPC 970 was initially produced at a 130-nm manufacturing process while 90nm based PowerMacs were introduced in June 2004. Poor 90nm production yields has been cited for delays in PowerPC shipments and development.
Smaller manufacturing processes typically increase clock-speeds and decrease costs for the processors.