Posted by Robert Bradbury: PhysicsOrg is pointing out that IBM and Toppan are combining their expertise to push photomasks for lithography down to 45nm (the generation after current 90nm and next generation 65nm). At 45nm your current generation dual-core microprocessor may well become at least an 8 core microprocessor. For people who are unfamiliar with the scales — at 45nm you are starting to approach the size of a ribosome within cells or bacteria. Not atomic scale yet but certainly headed in that direction. At a $200M investment in R&D one is talking some serious money. They plan to have the masks available for production by mid-2007 (in 2 years)!