Copper Industry Welcomes IBM's Semiconductor Breakthrough

September 23, 1997


NEW YORK - Copper Development Association President Robert M. Payne today lauded IBM's milestone accomplishment of using copper instead of aluminum for the circuitry in silicon chips. "The copper industry has been watching and waiting for this signal achievement for nearly a decade," he said. "This is the last link in a now unbroken copper chain comprising the electronic data path between user and computer. From external cables and connectors to bus ways to printed circuit boards, sockets and lead frames, it's all copper. Now the chip, itself, can benefit from copper's superior properties."

Payne said it's significant that man's oldest metal (first used around 8,700 BC) was the means for this latest breakthrough in semiconductor technology. "Copper is the benchmark for electrical and thermal conductivity. Its use means greater efficiency from smaller components because of lower operating voltages, cooler running, and shorter and therefore faster paths for electron flow."

Payne pointed out that these are the same characteristics that make copper the proper choice for other data and telecommunications applications, electrical wiring, air conditioners and even rocket engines.