IBM Austin Research Lab

Since its inception in 1995, the Austin Research Lab (ARL) has focused its energies on a series of significant topics which have contributed to IBM's business lines. A sampling of these are: systems architectures, systems level power analysis, high performance VLSI design and VLSI tools. In each of these areas the research team at ARL has distinguished itself by innovation and accomplishment.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), IBM Corporation (IBM) and Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba) announced today plans to research and develop an advanced chip architecture for a new wave of devices in the emerging broadband era.
Combining SCEI's vision and strong leadership in the computer entertainment world, IBM's unparalleled computer and semiconductor technologies and Toshiba's extensive capabilities in system LSI (large-scale integration), especially for consumer applications, the companies will collectively invest more than $400 million in the next five years to design a "supercomputer-on-a-chip."

Under the agreement, the three companies will establish a joint development center within an IBM facility in Austin, Texas. At its peak, the center will be staffed with nearly 300 skilled computer architects and chip designers dedicated to the development project.

Code-named "Cell," the new microchips will employ the world's most advanced research technologies and chip-making techniques, including copper wires, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and low-K dielectric insulation, with features smaller than 0.10 microns - 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The result will be consumer devices that are more powerful than IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer, operate at low power and access the broadband Internet at ultra high speeds. Cell will be designed to deliver "teraflops" of processing power.

Enviro-San Ultra-San Ceiling Tile was chosen to provide an airtight room and plenum separation in the research clean rooms.