Print 30 comment(s) - last by lithographer.. on Sep 29 at 10:48 AM

Mark Bohr discusses 22nm logic tech  (Source: Intel)

The P1270 22nm process is expected to scale similarly to 32nm
The company is preparing to do battle in 2011 and beyond

There have been many details made available at the Intel Developer Forum about future Clarkdale desktop and Arrandale mobile chips. Yields are very good and defect density is steadily decreasing. They will be launched very soon as part of the 32nm Westmere family.

Intel also revealed some details about production of chips using the Sandy Bridge architecture in 2010. The company's "tick-tock" strategy of alternating annual process shrinks and new microarchitecture has been quite effective. The Westmere die shrink will be the next "tick", while Sandy Bridge will be the next "tock". After that will come the 22nm Ivy Bridge shrink in 2011, followed by the new Haswell microarchitecture in 2012.

Intel showed off the first 32nm SRAM test chips at the IDF in 2007, and this year they showed us their first 22nm SRAM test chips. With the 22nm process, Intel will be able to produce four times the number of chips per wafer of the 45nm process, thus making CPUs even cheaper once the process reaches mature yields.

DailyTech received not one, but two briefings on the 22nm process by Mark Bohr, an Intel Senior Fellow and Director of Process Architecture and Integration. He works in Intel's Logic Technology Development group located at the D1D development fab in Hillsboro, Oregon. His primary responsibility is to direct process development for Intel's advanced logic technologies.

Intel is the first in the semiconductor industry to demonstrate working 22nm circuits. Their 22nm shuttle chip contains not only SRAM circuitry, but also logic and mixed signal transistors such as phase lock loop (PLL) circuits. It is a 364 Mbit sized array consisting of over 2.9 billion transistors and built using Intel's third generation of High-K/Metal Gate technology. Shuttle chips are used to test different types of logic during the development phase, but these chips will have the same transistor and interconnect features as on 22nm CPUs in the Ivy Bridge family.

Being able to demonstrate working 22nm SRAMs is an important milestone towards being able to build working 22nm CPUs. There are currently two types of SRAM cells that have been built so far. There is a 0.092 square micron cell designed for high performance CPUs, and a 0.108 square micron cell for for low voltage applications such as Atom SoC designs.

Fab D1D is currently producing 32nm chips in the Westmere family, but there is also a large portion dedicated to producing Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge silicon. The lessons learned will be used to develop the P1270 high performance logic process for Ivy Bridge chips, but will also lead to the development of the P1271 SoC process for 22nm Atom chips. Intel plans to speed up the introduction of P1271 so that it will be available just three months after P1270.

Intel is planning to use 193nm immersion lithography for critical layers, and double patterning for the rest. The company is unlikely to use EUV (Extreme UltraViolet) tools even for the 15nm process in 2013, but may consider them  for use in the 11nm process that will be introduced in 2015.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini has repeatedly committed to expanding the company's sales in the SoC and embedded markets as he thinks that will be the next major drivers for Intel's growth. He thinks there is a market for billions of these devices, but they must be small and cheap in order to be commercially viable. In the future, we may end up with Atom chips being produced first on the leading edge, with mobility, server, and desktop designs coming later.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Simply incredible...
By quiksilvr on 9/24/2009 1:41:32 PM , Rating: 5
It is amazing how far computer technology has come in just 4 short years. Four years ago we had Pentium 4 with 90nm and now we cut down to 32. And now Intel is talking about 15 and 11 nm? It just boggles the mind. How small can you make it?

RE: Simply incredible...
By amanojaku on 9/24/2009 1:48:42 PM , Rating: 1
It just boggles the mind. How small can you make it?
Short, cut down... I'm not comfortable with where you're going with this... ;-)

RE: Simply incredible...
By quiksilvr on 9/24/2009 5:40:23 PM , Rating: 3
I was expecting a penis joke response. Thank you for not disappointing me.

RE: Simply incredible...
By TSS on 9/24/2009 1:51:37 PM , Rating: 3
Last i heard, 4 nanometers untill quantum tunneling effects kick in (too hard).

So while this is a big technological achievement by any means, we'll still have to wait atleast another 2 decades before we might see a revolution, instead of another evolution.

And might i add, i find it very exciting that's well within my lifespan :P

RE: Simply incredible...
By randomposter on 9/24/2009 2:07:50 PM , Rating: 1
... unless the singularity arrives before then

RE: Simply incredible...
By Omega215D on 9/24/2009 10:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
I remember reading many years back about UltraViolet lithography once the current shrinking process begins to run out of steam. What ever happened to that? And then another kind of lithography was mentioned a couple of years ago but nothing much was said about it.

RE: Simply incredible...
By BigPeen on 9/25/2009 12:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
well 193nm IS ultraviolet. All ultraviolet refers to is the light source used for the photolithography steps. The shorter the wavelength of the light used, the higher the possible resolution. You run into all kinds of other problems of course (optics, what kind of photo-resists, etc.)

RE: Simply incredible...
By flipsu5 on 9/26/2009 4:46:53 AM , Rating: 2
Well said..I think they will continue the same wavelength even for 11 nm, and beyond. The alternative of electron beam and/or nanoimprint is also very interesting, but it's still much slower, and requires more direct precision. So they may find some niche uses.

RE: Simply incredible...
By Omega215D on 9/28/2009 8:40:58 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, thanks for that info and I found the old issue of PCWorld from 2004 talking about Extreme UVL but as you mentioned all kinds of problems can and will exist.

RE: Simply incredible...
By lithographer on 9/29/2009 10:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
As Mark said himself: The company is unlikely to use EUV (Extreme UltraViolet) tools even for the 15nm process in 2013, but may consider them for use in the 11nm process that will be introduced in 2015.
Problems are the light sources are still too weak to make them cost effective i.e. in terms of wafers processed per hour per $ of depreciation, and they have no way of ensuring the masks are clean enough yet to make high yield devices.

RE: Simply incredible...
By JTKTR on 9/24/2009 4:55:52 PM , Rating: 3
I have an old Fortran textbook that says:

"if progress in the automotive industry had been as rapid as in computer technology since 1960, today's automobile would have an engine that is less than 0.1 inch in length, would get 120,000 miles to a gallon of gas, would have a top speed of 240,000 miles per hour, and would cost $4.00."

And mind you, this book was published in 1997

RE: Simply incredible...
By TGIM824 on 9/24/2009 6:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
That reasoning would be sound if we all weighed the same as electrons.

You will need a bigger engine to get my fat ass up to 240k miles per hour.

That's another reason Moore's Law applies to semiconductors, and not clothes, food, furniture, big screen TVs, oh and Vehicles.

RE: Simply incredible...
By MrPoletski on 9/25/2009 5:16:50 AM , Rating: 2
I wish it applied to my wages...

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki