Stony Stevenson writes: IBM and its partners, which include tech heavyweights Advanced Micro Devices, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, and others, have developed a key material that reduces the cost of manufacturing next-generation 32-nanometer microprocessors. The proprietary material based on the chemical element hafnium makes it possible for chipmakers to design products that follow the same manufacturing process flow used in building conventional chips. Keeping the manufacturing steps the same means fewer expensive modifications in fabrication plants.
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