Archive for April, 2012

Apr 24 2012

Intel 22nm production for 13 processors

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On April 23, 2012 Intel introduced their new Ivy Bridge Core processors for the desktop, All In One (AIO) and traditional laptop marketplace. Based on the challenges that most of the semiconductor industry has been having with manufacturing below 40nm, the key technology piece of the announcement was the 13 processors, including the 3 un-locked processors which allow over-clocking, were being released on the 22nm Tri-gate process.

This is the first major 3D transistor product launch in the industry and represents a 2-3 process generation (32nm, 28nm planar and now 22nm tri-gate) advance over most other semiconductor fabs. The devices, being patterned with immersion litho and multi-patterning, are able to yield at acceptable levels for world-wide launch of the processors next week.

The performance advantages of the 22nm Tri-Gate process provided capabilities in realization that were not part of the original expectation, which allows them to move to a “Tick+” step in their “Tick-Tock” process/architecture progression. The new process also allows them to implement these new processors in a new format PC that of the AIO. This segment seems to be growing as the power/performance curve brought on by the new process is rolled out.

Mark Bohr of Intel discussed in the Q&A portion, that with the release of the 22nm process, that activity was progressing on the next gen 14nm and 10nm processes. These would also be Tri-gate 3D device processes and while it would be good if EUV was available, they are moving forward with the schedule for roll-out of of the processes independent of the availability of EUV for production.

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