Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (TSMC), the world's largest semiconductor foundry, has joined the X Initiative, a group of companies supporting the X Architecture interconnect architecture. TSMC, having verified 0.13-micron X Architecture design rules with silicon test chips, is now working with select customers to leverage the performance, cost, and power benefits of the X Architecture. According to Genda Hu, vice president of marketing at TSMC, "The promise of the X Architecture has prompted us to verify our design rules for the X Architecture at the 0.13-micron and below process nodes. Now we're engaging with select customers on their circuits that employ this new design implementation approach."

The X Architecture represents a new way of orienting a chip's microscopic interconnecting wires using diagonal pathways, as well as the traditional right-angle configuration. Using designs with less wire length and fewer via holes, the X Architecture offers the promise of higher-performance chips at lower cost. The pre-production phase of the design-to-silicon roadmap for the X Architecture, laid out by the X Initiative in 2002, was completed with the announcement of functional silicon results by an X Initiative member late last year. The focus of the X Initiative's collaborative design-chain preparation is now to enable broad adoption of the X Architecture for production manufacturing at current nodes and to demonstrate manufacturing scalability into future process nodes. First production chips are expected this year.

X Initiative --> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eA0JtlqC0Gth0BIUz0A6

TSMC --> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eA0JtlqC0Gth05z20A5