IBM, AMD to develop power microprocessor

EAST FISHKILL, N.Y.—IBM Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) say the high-performance microprocessors they are developing jointly will be commercially available within two years.

The companies are collaborating on 65-nanometer and 45-nanometer processes for 300-mm wafers. The chips will be based on such processes and materials as high-speed silicon-on-insulator transistors, copper interconnects and improved low-k dielectric insulation, according to the collaborators.

IBM and AMD said they expect the first products based on the new 65-nanometer technologies to appear in 2005. Companies are currently moving from 130-nanometer technology to 90-nanometer.—MAD

Flat-panel display production to rise

TAIPEI—Global output of flat-panel displays for products ranging from notebook computers to televisions is projected to grow 21 percent annually over the next four years, according to a report from DisplaySearch (Austin, Texas).

“We based our optimism on rising popularity of liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and LCD televisions so demand for larger displays will be booming in the coming years,” says C.E. Wang, president of DisplaySearch's Taiwan branch.

Global flat-panel output is expected to reach $62 billion in 2006, up from $28.8 billion in 2002, said the research firm, which was established in 1996. Large-size thin-film transistor (TFT) LCDs, used for laptops, LCD monitors and LCD televisions, make up around 70 percent of the world's total flat-panel output.

The remaining 30 percent comes from smaller screens for personal digital assistants and handsets, the firm says.—MAD

ETC lands second contract

SOUTHAMPTON, Penn.—Environmental Tectonics Corp.'s (ETC) Sterilizer Division has been awarded a second contract from a “leading pharmaceutical company.”

Under the contract, ETC will supply two, Sanitary 3A, steam autoclaves/sterilizers with its “one-step” stopper sterilization/drying process. According to ETC, this sterilization process complies with current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) and can reduce production time and costs for the processing of bagged stoppers, caps and line seals used in the production of parenteral drugs.—MAD

Microbial malevolent metal

LONDON—Steelmaker Corus Group and Microban International Ltd., a New York City-based manufacturer of antimicrobial products, are developing a bacteria-resistant metal to make cleanrooms and food production units, while consumers will see it in washing machines and other “high-touch” home appliances.

The two companies say the new product, Assure, will be the first sheet steel with an antibacterial coating—a product that has a variety of potential applications within the food processing industry since it inhibits growth of the four most common germs found in food production environments: salmonella, E. coli, listeria and staphylococcus.

According to both companies, the steel is produced the same as any conventional galvanized sheet steel, in coil form. It is then coated with either polymer film or wet paint containing Microban's antibacterial ingredient, which gradually penetrates the polymer structure of the coating and stays within the intermolecular polymer structure.

The result is that the coating does not lose its antibacterial properties as it wears off the surface, a problem that has plagued similar efforts in the past.—MAD

Heritage sues Safety-Kleen for $400 million

ELGIN, Ill.—Heritage-Crystal Clean, LLC, a regional parts cleaner services company, has filed a $400 million antitrust lawsuit against industry giant Safety-Kleen Corp. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that Safety-Kleen has been using its monopoly power in the parts-cleaner services business to hinder fair competition by Heritage. In its complaint, Heritage-Crystal Clean alleges that Safety-Kleen has made false and disparaging statements and distributed false and misleading literature about Heritage to customers and government officials; sought to insulate its business against fair and open competition through the use and enforcement of illegal exclusionary contracts with its customers and employees; engaged in improper pricing practices; sabotaged Heritage equipment; used the judicial process to intimidate and harass current and former employees who considered changing employers and also its customers who considered changing vendors; and “even engaged in attempted industrial espionage by trying to plant one of its people as a Heritage employee in an effort to obtain confidential strategic business information.—MAD


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