ISSCC 2008 Cell Processor Update

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An interesting footnote to the 45 nm CELL processor is that the 45 nm SOI process used by the CELL processor does not make use of High-K/Metal Gate (HKMG). On one hand, the quick port of the CELL processor to the 45 nm process shows that IBM is confident in its 45 nm SOI process to quickly bring it to high volume production with the CELL processor. On the other hand, the lack of HKMG on this version of the 45 nm SOI process suggests that IBM is unlikely to bring HKMG on the 45 nm SOI process into high volume manufacturing.


We would like to thank the following people that contributed to this article:

  • Laura Fujino, ISSCC director of Publications and Presentations, for her general accommodation to the preparation of this article.
  • Dr. Osamu Takahashi, Senior Technical Staff Member, STI Design Center, Circuit Lead, IBM, for his prompt, courteous, and informative answers.


Copyright 2008, David T. Wang PhD, All rights reserved.


[1] Wang, D., “IEDM 2005: Selected Coverage”,
[2] Takahashi, O. et. al, “Migration of Cell Broadband Engine from 65 nm SOI to 45 nm SOI”, Technical Digest of the International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), 2008, paper 4.3.

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