State-of-the-art GPUs, like NVIDIA’s Geforce FX, have become process and manufacturing drivers. To deliver the immense computational power needed to create cinematic images in real-time, NVIDIA’sGPUs require the most sophisticated process technologies.
As part of the agreement, NVIDIA will gain access to IBM’s comprehensive suite of foundry services and leading-edge manufacturing technologies, including power-efficient copper wiring, and a roadmapthat leads to 65nm (nanometer; a billionth of a meter) in the next several years, giving the company the necessary tools to advance its state-of-the-art GPUs.
“IBM is bringing a new foundry business model by combining advanced technology coupled with close customer integration,” stated Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. “Our strategic alliancewith IBM gives NVIDIA unprecedented opportunity to bring groundbreaking GPU products to the market. The combination of NVIDIA and IBM’s capabilities will be powerful.”
IBM plans to begin manufacturing the next-generation GeForce graphics processor this summer at IBM’s state-of-the-art 300mm plant in East Fishkill, N.Y. The new IBM $2.5 billion chip-making facilitycombines, for the first time anywhere, IBM chip-making breakthroughs such as copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and low-k dielectric insulation on 300mm wafers. The newfacility began operation last year, and will ramp up in capacity throughout 2003.
“We have a deep customer collaboration with NVIDIA, the kind of support normally reserved for IBM’s Server group and very select large OEM partners,” said Michel Mayer, general manager, IBMMicroelectronics Division. “We understand that leading fabless semiconductor companies, like NVIDIA, need to get to market as quick as possible, with the latest technologies, yet need to keep theirfocus on their customers and products, not on manufacturing.”
Beyond the chip manufacturing technology, IBM also offers an advanced automated management system that not only controls production on the factory floor, but provides a connection for customer andsupplier systems and processes, allowing closer integration across the supply chain. IBM’s automated management system provides NVIDIA with opportunities ranging from improved operation to greaterefficiency and competitive advantage, while using e-business techniques to adapt to real-time, on-demand influences from the marketplace.