Copper technology silicon wafers on the way

Copper technology silicon wafers on the way
Tom Foremski
Motorola has completed testing of its first silicon wafers using copper interconnect technology as it prepares for volume production later this year.
The company said that engineers at its Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS), in Austin, Texas, successfully completed the first tests and are now at work on the first prototype chips, which includes copper based PowerPC microprocessors.
The use of copper will speed up chip performance due to copper’s superior conductivity compared with aluminium.
Motorola is trying to catch up with IBM, which has already produced prototype copper based PowerPC chips. Apple Computer will show a Power Macintosh running on an IBM copper based PowerPC chip at 400 MHz at this week’s Seybold trade show.
In separate news, Motorola and IBM yesterday introduced a 300 MHz version of the PowerPC 750 microprocessor costing $450 in volume quantities. Apple Computer is largest customer for the PowerPC 750, which is optimised to run MacOS based applications.


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