IBM has released a fourth-generation silicon germanium chip called 8HP for use in mobile and wireless products. The company claimed it will produce allow new, innovative products to be produced at lower prices.

The 8HP technology offers twice the performance of the previous generation, according to IBM. It is a new 130 nanometer silicon germanium bipolar complementary metal oxide semi-conuctor. Current chips are 180nm.

Applications of 8HP include safety systems for automobiles, including collision warning radar, 60GHz Wi-Fi chips for wireless personal-area networks, software-defined radios for cellular phones that convert signals from the antenna directly to digital form, and high-speed converters for radio receivers.

"Silicon germanium technology is increasingly influencing next generation consumer devices and applications," said Bernie Meyerson, an IBM chief technologist. "IBM introduced the technology in 1989 to allow chip designers to increase computer performance. Over the years, SiGe revolutionised the wireless industry by providing a high volume Silicon-based technology. The fourth generation of SiGe will continue to enable wireless connectivity on an increasingly global scale."