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UMC tunes low-k material to produce Trident graphics chip

Posted: 18 Apr 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:UMC? dielectric? copper? interconnect? XP4?

United Microelectronics Corp. is seeing some return on its strategy to increase business among graphics chip suppliers while at the same time showing progress in its use of a low-k dielectric insulating material for copper interconnects.

The foundry said Tuesday (April 16) that it has collaborated with Trident Microsystems Inc. to produce a 3D graphics processor using its 0.135m process technology with a low-k dielectric. UMC and other semiconductor makers have struggled to implement the performance-enhancing benefits of low-k materials.

Trident is shipping samples of its XP4 produced by UMC. The 250MHz chip uses a DDR memory interface suitable for the 666MHz speed grade of DDR memory. Trident claims XP4 is the industry's fastest notebook PC graphics chip that is compliant with Microsoft Corp.'s DirectX 8.1 graphics I/O standard. By using UMC's 0.135m process, Trident reduced power dissipation by 50 percent over its 0.185m device and trimmed core voltage from 1.8V to 1.2V.

UMC utilized a Coral-based low-k film from Novellus Systems Inc. in its 0.135m process to enable the high-performance characteristics of the XP4, which hits 1 billion pixels/second performance while consuming less than 3W maximum, according to Trident.

? Mike Clendenin

EE Times

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