Motorola is doing copper chips too. The company has announced hat it has developed a technique that replaces aluminum wiring with copper interconnects in integrated circuits to make smaller, faster chips.
The process, called the dual-inlaid metallisation technique, takes advantage of copper's property of conducting electricity better than aluminum, as well as copper's greater resistance to electromigration, Motorola says. The copper interconnect technology can support 50 to 100 million devices on a chip, the company says.
Motorola's announcement comes at the same time as IBM's decision to switch over to copper from aluminum for the manufacture of all of its chips.
These copper-based chips can bring high-end computing power to nontraditional products, such as PDAs (personal digital assistants)and cellular phones, Motorola says.
Products using the copper interconnect technology will be introduced in the third quarter 1998, and will be commercially available in September 1998, Motorola says.