Feedsee Electronics : High-K Metal Gate : Chip circuitry smaller, faster, and more power-efficient than thought possible

IBM has developed an improvement to the transistor, the tiny on/off switch that serves as the basic building block of microchips. The company has found a way to construct a critical part of the transistor with a new material, clearing a path toward chip circuitry that is smaller, faster and more power-efficient than previously thought possible. As important, the technology can be incorporated into existing chip manufacturing lines with minimal changes to tooling and processes, making it economically viable. IBM will apply the technology to products with chip circuits as small as 45 nanometers starting in 2008. The technology, called high-k metal gate, substitutes a new material into a critical portion of the transistor that controls its primary on/off switching function.