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In a possible challenge to chip producer Intel, IBM plans to announce at a conference today a breakthrough in the production of DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip technology typically used in PCs.eDRAM The new technology (pictured), which will go by the acronym eDRAM (embedded dynamic random access memory), supposedly acts as a temporary storage unit, holding data inside a microprocessor while it is being processed. IBM claims the new technology has reduced memory cycle times during experiments to less than 2 nanoseconds - 10 times the speed current DRAM performs at. On Monday at the same conference (International Solid State Circuits Conference), Intel demonstrated a Teraflop chip that integrated 80 separate processing engines.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, New York Times
Commentary: Intel, IBM Take Moore's Law to the Next LevelIntel Announces Multi-core Teraflop Research ChipChip Stocks: Weak Motherboard Sales Signal Trouble In PC Supply Chain
Stocks/ETFs to watch: IBM (NYSE:IBM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). Competitors: AMD (NASDAQ:AMD). ETFs: Semiconductor HOLDRs (NYSEARCA:SMH), iShares Goldman Sachs Semiconductor (IGW), PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors (NYSEARCA:PSI)

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Source: IBM To Announce Major Challenge To Intel-Dominant DRAM Technology