IBM plans to introduce a new chip design next week that blends two cutting edge semiconductor technologies into a single product.
The offering will be presented in 18 papers at the International Electron Device (IED) Meeting in Washington DC and is based on copper wires, which can carry signals between transistors at faster rates than traditional aluminum wiring.
Big Blue said the design uses a silicon germanium (SiGe) process, which improves the performance of the transistors themselves.
Although each of the different technologies have been used individually by different vendors, IBM is the first to combine copper and SiGe into a single, high performance chip.
Big Blue will target them at advanced communications products, including Internet ready 3G wireless phones and 40Gbps synchronous optical network equipment, and at network servers and other large computers.
The offerings are due to ship next year, but IBM expects their application to broaden out over time.
Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at market research firm, Insight 64, said: "By combining these two rather esoteric technologies, IBM should be able to produce chips that go even faster than merely using copper with traditional CMOS [complementary metal oxide semiconductor] or silicon germanium with traditional aluminium."
IBM will also review its silicon on insulator (SOI) design approach, which it launched a year ago, at the IED Meeting. Big Blue claims that SOI, which is now ready for production, improves performance by 30 to 35 per cent compared with previous processors.
It will also describe a new technique for embedding large amounts of dynamic Ram directly into the chip instead of requiring it to sit on separate chips as is now the case.
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