IBM and its development partners announced a new approach to the high-k/metal gate process in 32-nm chips. Co-developed with alliance partners AMD, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., Freescale, Infineon, and Samsung, the new approach is designed to provide an easier way for clients to migrate to high-k metal gate technology. It is a "simple, scalable pathway to incorporating the high-k material innovation in semiconductor development without introducing additional design complexity," according to IBM's Semiconductor R&D vice president Gary Patton. The companies have demonstrated the 'high-k gate-first' process in 32nm ultra dense static random access memory (SRAM) and in a new generation of Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) technology at 32nm. In SOI, the approach enables a 30 percent increase in transistor speed over the previous generation, and 32-nm SRAM functions at a lower voltage, helping cut power consumption by 45 percent, according to IBM. The move also increases performance by 30 percent, according to the release. IBM and its research partners announced the high-k/metal gate innovation in January, the same time chipmaker Intel announced its transistor revamp. The companies expect the technology to be available to alliance members and their clients in the second half of 2009.