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  1. Technology
August 27, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems sees the development by Texas Instruments Inc of industry-beating 0.07 micron technology as a way to keep its UltraSPARC processors competitive when rivals switch to Intel Corp’s Merced processors. TI researchers say they have developed manufacturing technology to produce the smallest-ever transistors – and by bringing the transistor length down from 0.18 micron to 0.07 micron could put 400 million on a chip the size of a fingernail. With volume production promised for 2001, Sun sees the prospect of extending the clock frequency of future generations of Sparc processors well beyond one gigahertz. Mel Friedman, president of Sun’s microelectronics division, said TI’s demonstration will keep the UltraSparc family at the forefront of processor technology in the decade ahead of us. TI’s new technology took the industry by surprise and is well ahead of predictions by the US Semiconductor Industry Association, which expected a move to 0.13 micron by 2003. TI said the development, using copper technology, will bring in an era when wireless telephones will be able to handle data and video, hard drives will read gigabits of data per second and ADSL modems will allow no-wait internet access.

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