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IBM Promises Faster Computer Chips

August 3, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ International Business Machines Corp., seeking to speed up computer functions and give longer battery lives to mobile phones, has found a way to boost the performance of microprocessors by more than a third.

The computer giant, based in Somers, N.Y., developed a way to apply insulation material between each transistor and the silicon base of chips, reducing electrical interference that saps energy and performance.

The company planned to formally announce the development today.

The newly designed chips would use one-third less electricity than today’s microprocessors, extending battery life of portable devices such as cellular phones and hand-held computers.

The new chips were first made in a test program at IBM’s East Fishkill, N.Y. factory, and by next summer will also be made at its Burlington, Vt. plant. The chips will be used in IBM’s own computers as well as chips it sells to other companies.

While other companies also have been working on the so-called ``silicon-on-insulator″ technology, IBM said it would be the first to commercially introduce it.

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