IBM and NVIDIA has announced that the two companies have formed a multi-year strategic alliance under which IBM will manufacture NVIDIA's next-generation GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs). NVIDIA's GPUs require the most sophisticated process technologies available to manufacture.
As part of the agreement, NVIDIA will gain access to IBM's comprehensive suite of foundry services and leading-edge manufacturing technologies, including power-efficient copper wiring, and a roadmap that leads to 65nm (nanometer; a billionth of a meter) in the next several years.
IBM plans to begin manufacturing the next generation GeForce graphics processor this summer at IBM's state-of-the-art 300mm plant in East Fishkill, N.Y. The new IBM $2.5 billion chip-making facility combines, for the first time anywhere, IBM chip-making breakthroughs such as copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and low-k dielectric insulation on 300mm wafers. The new facility began operation last year, and will ramp up in capacity throughout 2003.
Beyond the chip manufacturing technology, IBM also offers an advanced automated management system that not only controls production on the factory floor, but provides a connection for customer and supplier systems and processes, allowing closer integration across the supply chain. IBM's automated management system provides NVIDIA with opportunities ranging from improved operation to greater efficiency and competitive advantage, while using e-business techniques to adapt to real-time, on-demand influences from the marketplace.