Qualcomm has received the first samples of its MSM6800 third-generation (3G) mobile chipsets made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) using a 65-nanometer production process, according to the chip maker.
The delivery of these first chips comes two months ahead of schedule, TSMC said.
Moving the production of the MSM6800 to a 65-nanometer process offers several benefits for consumers. Using a more advanced process technology can shrink the chip’s die size, or the area of silicon that is required, which means lower per-unit production costs. It also means the chip will consume less power, which helps stretch handset battery life.
When describing process technologies, the number refers to the size of the smallest feature that can be created on a silicon chip. The smaller the number, the better. At present, many chip makers are in the process of shifting their most advanced production lines from a 90-nanometer process to a 65-nanometer process.
The Qualcomm MSM6800 chipset is designed for handsets that support the Code Division Multiple Access 2000 1x Evolution Data-Only 3G standard. The chips, which also support global system for mobile communications and general packet radio service networks, offer data rates up to 3.1 megabits per second.
The MSM6800 is expected to go into volume production using the 65-nanometer process later this year, TSMC said.
-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service
For related news coverage, read Carly Fiorina Joins Board of Chip Maker TSMC and Intel Pitches 65-Nanometer Flash Chip for Mobile Phone Memory.
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