MOTOROLA develops faster chip that could lower costs of electronics like cell phones, DVDs

Tuesday, September 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) _ Motorola Inc. has developed a high-speed computer chip that could cut costs for electronics like cell phones and DVD players and dramatically change the semiconductor industry, according to published reports.

Company officials say the chip is 35 times faster than today's models, combining two semiconductor materials that will be able to transmit signals at much higher speeds.

``We've opened the door on a whole new world,'' said Dennis Roberson, chief technology officer of Motorola.

Analysts say the new chip is groundbreaking development because it allows relatively inexpensive semiconductors to process at high speeds. Products that previously demanded fast semiconductors had to use expensive materials. The new chips also allow one chip to handle more functions.

``This could go down in history as a major turning point for the semiconductor industry,'' said Steve Cullen, director and principal analyst for semiconductor research at Cahners In-Sat Group, a technology research company.

Motorola has applied for 270 patents for the materials and production process. The U.S. Patent Office is scheduled to publish the patent applications Tuesday.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company has been struggling to regain investors' confidence. It has announced 30,000 job cuts this year and was hard hit by downturns in its cell phone and semiconductor operations. Its stock price has taken a hit amid the downturn.

The chip development was reported Tuesday by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.