AMD and Strained Silicon

@ 2004/08/25
Last week several sources had stories out that AMD had transitioned to strained silicon manufacturing for its 90 nm and 130 nm lines of Athlon 64’s. While AMD has not officially confirmed this, the stories going around are most likely true. IBM was one of the first to successfully integrate a strained silicon process into their design (PowerPC), and they were one of the pioneers in getting the technology to work. Since then Intel has utilized strained silicon for their latest Pentium 4 processors. It is only natural that AMD be several months behind the fabrication giant in this aspect. But what exactly does strained silicon bring to the table, and why hasn’t it been a panacea for companies like Intel?



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