AMD and Motorola are to announce a cross licensing pact to accelerate their development of copper based chip manufacturing.
Motorola has already said its development of copper technology is well advanced, and while AMD has so far been quieter, it did strike a similar deal with wafer fab equipment company Applied Materials last week.
Current generation of chips using aluminium interconnects, but copper enable smaller chips to be developed which are faster and generate less heat.
IBM was the first out of the traps with a copper announcement last year, and is probably still ahead, but any lead it has is likely to be narrow, and it seems inevitable that the industry will stampede towards copper.
Both AMD and Motorola will be using the technology for next generation CPUs, x86 for AMD and PowerPC for Motorola. The two companies also have strong embedded and communications chip products which could benefit from smaller form factors, lower voltage and greater power.
Motorola has said it is scheduled to go into volume production early next year, so the deal between the two will bring AMD onto that schedule.
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