IBM announced today new chip-making technology that in two years will lower the cost and reduce the size of mobile device electronics by allowing room for more functions in handhelds.
The technology could be deployed by mobile device component manufacturers and installed into phones and other wireless devices from a variety of manufacturers by 2009, said Ken Torino, director of foundry products at IBM, in an interview.
Overall, electronics in average mobile devices cost about $20 to make, with the bigger costs taken up by other parts, including the display. Torino estimated the new chip technology will allow that cost to drop by about $1 per unit.
With some functions on separate chips integrated with the new technology, there would also be more room, eventually, for adding in other chips not normally present, such as a GPS chip, a TV tuner or a satellite radio, Torino said.
The technology that IBM has developed over the past year at its Burlington, N.H., site is called CMOS 7RF SOI, which is based on an older, less costly means of building a chip with silicon than the current process using gallium arsenide.