IBM announced Friday a fourth-generation silicon germanium chip called 8HP for use in mobile and wireless products. The company predicted that it will enable innovative uses at lower costs.
The 8HP technology offers twice the performance of the previous generation, according to IBM officials. The 8HP is a new 130 nanometer silicon germanium bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor. Current chips are 180nm. IBM was the first to offer such technology in 1995 and has shipped hundreds of millions of the semiconductors.
Applications of 8HP include safety systems for automobiles, including collision warning radar; 60-GHz Wi-Fi chips for wireless personal-area networks; software-defined radios for cellular phones that convert signals from the antenna directly to digital form; and high-speed converters for radio receivers.
Sierra Monolithics has chosen 8HP semiconductors for use with ultra-high-speed fiber-optics components and 60-GHz Wi-Fi transceivers, Sierra said in a statement. The new chip will enabled unprecedented performance, the company predicted.