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Toshiba introduces the first working 90nm silicon on X Architecture

The "X Initiative" group created in Summer 2001 to advance the technology of diagonal connections between metallization layers in chip production announced that Toshiba , a permanent member of this group, released the first 90nm silicon on this architecture.

The idea of the new technology bases on creating special blocks (tiles) with diagonal connections created by the "liquid routing" technology to provide effective diagonal routing inside a block. Then tiles are joined using usual orthogonal connections. The tile concept itself was developed by ArTile, Toshiba´s daughter compan, in 2001. Today the industry usually utilizes the "Manhattan" rectangular layouts.

Toshiba´s experimental chips with 5-layer metallization were produced at the proprietary experimental 90nm fab using standard equipment and materials. They especially underline that comparing to the usual "Manhattan" technology X Architecture reduces connections length by 14%.

I´ll just add that Toshiba schedules X Architecture volume production in 2004. As for the X Initiative group, currently it includes enough industry leaders like Applied Materials, ARM, Artisan Components, ASML, Cadence Design Systems, Dai Nippon Printing, DuPont Photomasks, Applied Materials, Leica Microsystems, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Nikon, Sanyo Electric, Silicon Valley Research, STMicroelectronics, Toppan Printing, Toshiba, etc. For more information visit the X Initiative website.

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