IBM on Monday will unveil the first processors designed to its SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) technology. Announced in late 1998, SOI is a technique that insulates the wiring of IBM's copper processors.
The result is reduced power consumption, lower heat during operation, and improved performance of up to 30 percent, according to IBM.
The first processors to use SOI technology will power IBM's AS/400, a transaction server for small and medium-size businesses. IBM will use SOI technology to boost the performance of its high-end RS/6000 S80 Unix server later this year, officials said.
The significance of SOI technology runs industrywide, said Ian Jarmon, an IBM AS/400 product marketing manager.
"Having this technology is important for pervasive devices like handhelds and laptops because an [SOI-insulated] chip doesn't require a lot of cooling," Jarmon said.
IBM plans to license SOI technology to other companies for use on competing processors, Jarmon said.