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To make 45nm process manufacturing easier: just add water

Intel has said on multiple occasions that its 45nm process is on track for production 2007. In fact, Intel began sampling its Penryn 45nm chips just several weeks ago. At the IEDM, IBM and AMD described three technologies that hope to compete with Intel’s 45nm development: the use of immersion lithography, which AMD says will “deliver enhanced microprocessor design definition and manufacturing consistency,” ultra-low-K interconnect dielectrics to enhance performance-per-watt ratio and multiple enhanced transistor strain techniques.

Current process technologies use conventional lithography, which has significant limitations in defining microprocessor designs beyond the 65nm process technology generation. Immersion lithography uses a projection lens filled with purified water as part of the step-and-repeat lithography -- think of the same principles applied to immersion microscopy.

Immersion lithography provides increased flow of light, depth of focus and improved image fidelity that can improve chip-level performance and manufacturing efficiency. For example, the performance of an SRAM cell shows improvements of approximately 15 percent due to this enhanced process capability, without resorting to more costly double-exposure techniques.

In addition, AMD and IBM say that the use of porous, ultra-low-K dielectrics reduces interconnect capacitance, wiring delay, as well as lowering power dissipation. This advance is enabled through the development of an ultra-low-K process integration that reduces the dielectric constant of the interconnect dielectric while maintaining the mechanical strength. The addition of ultra-low-K interconnect provides a 15 percent reduction in wiring-related delay as compared to conventional low-K dielectrics.

In spite of the increased packing density of the 45nm generation transistors, IBM and AMD demonstrated multiple enhanced transistor strain techniques that give an 80 per cent increase in p-channel transistor drive current and a 24 per cent increase in n-channel transistor drive current compared to unstrained transistors. The companies claim that their achievement results in the highest CMOS performance reported to date in a 45nm process technology.

In November 2005, AMD and IBM announced an extension of their joint development efforts until 2011 covering 32nm and 22nm process technology generations. AMD and IBM expect the first 45nm products using immersion lithography and ultra-low-K interconnect dielectrics to be available in mid-2008.



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th wonders of AMD
By sbanjac on 12/12/2006 11:19:24 PM , Rating: 3
It is a wonder how AMD manages to follow INTEL even though it has been since ever a year behind when it comes to fabrication processes. Imagine what would happen if AMD had the resources INTEL has.




RE: th wonders of AMD
By Ender17 on 12/12/2006 11:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
Intel isn't an ACRONYM


RE: th wonders of AMD
By asliarun on 12/14/2006 1:46:51 AM , Rating: 2
"Intel isn't an ACRONYM"

Yes, it is. Intel stands for "Integrated Electronics".
Having said that, i do understand what you were trying to point out to the parent poster :-)


RE: th wonders of AMD
By bighairycamel on 12/14/2006 7:15:23 AM , Rating: 2
Then it should be called IntEl gosh darn it.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By AnnihilatorX on 12/17/2006 12:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
ACRONYM isn't an acronym either
:P

The reason he used caps is exactly the same reason as you used caps in ACRONYM, to emphasize


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 12:31:25 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
It is a wonder how AMD manages to follow INTEL even though it has been since ever a year behind when it comes to fabrication processes


1. AMD's 45nm is only 6 months behind Intel
2. The AMD/IBM 45nm process looks to be significantly better than Intel's, but in any case it is VERY different.

I don't think you can actually compare the 2 companies...for instance, if AMD had Intel's resources, they might never have been this driven.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 12:46:37 AM , Rating: 2
> "AMD's 45nm is only 6 months behind Intel..."

Bet you a cookie otherwise....that, despite what AMD says now, their first 45nm products will be 9-12 months behind Intel's.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 12:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Bet you a cookie otherwise

That's a bet! (I prefer Tollhouse...)

http://news.com.com/2061-10791_3-6142714.html

"One of the big questions in the chip industry today is whether Advanced Micro Devices can make the hop to 45-nanometer manufacturing in 18 months, as the company has promised. One prominent analyst says that, so far, the chances look good...
So why the optimism? AMD (and its development partner IBM) have reduced the defect density, the measure of defects per square centimeter) on its test 45-nanometer chips. "The big issue is defects, which IBM and AMD seem to have a leg up on,"


RE: th wonders of AMD
By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 1:01:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well, that article openly wonders if AMD can meet 45nm in another 18 months. Intel is supposed to meet Q307, which, even if AMD makes this goal, 6-9 months behind.

And, as that article points out, it took AMD 26 months to move from the 90 to the 65 node (27, if you consider the fact that Brisbane's probably won't be available for another month yet). For half of that 26 month period, AMD was still proclaiming it was "on track", though they clearly weren't.

Finally, I have to point out the 45nm node transition is considerably more complex than was the 65. Intel demoed 45nm chips a year ago, and they're still 9-12 months out from shipping CPUs. AMD is still having trouble showing us 65nm chips, much less 45s...I find it very hard to believe they'll be shipping them in bulk in a mere 18 months.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Khato on 12/13/2006 1:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
Ayup, Intel will be manufacturing the 45nm CPU's come Q3'07, and shipping for revenue in Q4 I believe it is. After all, have to let the conroe refresh have some time in which to have it's fun, now don't we?

I'm ever skeptical about AMD's manufacturing, though of late they seem to have gotten better. (The initial 130nm T-bred A was late and hot, though as always, hard to say how much a process and how much a design issue.)

As to the 45nm SRAM chips, Intel's was January '06, while AMD's was April '06. The more interesting point about AMD's being that the few things I've found about it seem to imply that immersion lithography wasn't used in it. Heh, and that would be the most possible stumbling block in their 45nm process I'd think.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 1:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The more interesting point about AMD's being that the few things I've found about it seem to imply that immersion lithography wasn't used in it

A good point, though I haven't heard one way or the other. Remember that (unlike Intel) they have kept their processing method very much under wraps...
I have been hearing that AMD was going immersion for the last 6 months now, but i haven't seen anything concrete about it.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Khato on 12/13/2006 1:56:20 AM , Rating: 2
Mmmmm, I don't quite remember what info on P1266 has and hasn't been released yet, going from the info on Intel's process site it isn't much. In fact, there's no mention of the tricks being implemented, just some of their results, and I'd hate to ruin a surprise.

Whereas AMD's press release today states the use of ultra-low k interconnect dielectrics and immersion lithography in their 45nm process. While the ultra-low k interconnect dielectric shouldn't pose much of a problem, I do wonder at how immersion lithography will go. After all, I don't believe that there has been any mass production with immersion lithography thus far, and I'd imagine it to require a fair bit more retooling than the norm.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 2:08:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mmmmm, I don't quite remember what info on P1266 has and hasn't been released yet, going from the info on Intel's process site it isn't much. In fact, there's no mention of the tricks being implemented, just some of their results, and I'd hate to ruin a surprise

All that I've read so far is that they will use a new high-k metal gate that they released a white paper on a little over a year ago...
http://www.intel.com/technology/silicon/si11031.ht...


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Khato on 12/13/2006 12:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhhh, so they have released that tidbit already? You had me wondering by the comment about AMD/IBM 45nm process looking better than Intel's.

Hehe, high-k gate dielectric and metal gate electrode >> decreasing wire capacitance by a small amount and possibly etching neater lines.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 11:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
high-k gate dielectric and metal gate electrode >> decreasing wire capacitance by a small amount and possibly etching neater lines


If that were the extent of the improvements, I would agree with you...but look again at the MASSIVE increase in PMOS and NMOS.
The new DSL process increases efficiency by as much as 80% I believe.
Don't get me wrong, Intel's high-k/metal is absolutely brilliant...and it may indeed prove to be better. At this point my GUESS is that it won't be, but that is more of a WAG than anything else.
The defect decrease from immersion will certainly help AMD's yields and should keep costs down significantly.
Either way, we are going to be seeing some awesome chips coming out over the next 2 years, and at very reasonable pricing too!


RE: th wonders of AMD
By masher2 (blog) on 12/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/14/2006 7:52:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Its not going to reduce defect rates...in fact, the resultant increase in defect rates is one of the primary factors speaking against its use

Which is why the article on reduced defects for the IBM/AMD process is so exciting!
I seem to recall that AMD wasn't expected to be successful with SOI either...in fact Intel commented that it wasn't really possible economically until at least 45nm or below.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Khato on 12/14/2006 1:03:48 AM , Rating: 2
Hehe, I guess that the 80% pmos/24% nmos channel drive current increase compared to unstrained transistors might be a massive increase for AMD/IBM. I'm more tempted to call it playing catch up to Intel whose strained silicon tech will be on its third process node at 45nm.

Adding greater experience in strained silicon together with the high-k gate dielectric/metal gate should result in the Intel 45nm process having even greater channel drive current than the AMD/IBM. Not to mention the fact that high-k gate dielectrics say bye bye to gate leakage.

Mmm, and I wonder how the dielectric constant of the AMD/IBM 'ultra-low-k' interconnect dielectric compares to the Intel? It's hard to say since they don't often state the actual numbers, just the results of it in comparison to another previous unknown quantity, lol.

Oh, and boo hiss to reasonable pricing! Let's get those budget machines back up over $1000 with 30% of that going to the CPU manufacturers =D


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/14/2006 7:49:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm more tempted to call it playing catch up to Intel whose strained silicon tech will be on its third process node at 45nm

It may be their 3rd node, but they still haven't been able to achieve a decent DSL...
quote:
Mmm, and I wonder how the dielectric constant of the AMD/IBM 'ultra-low-k' interconnect dielectric compares to the Intel?

I believe I read that AMD's ultra-low k is at ~2.3 for the constant. I haven't seen data on Intel yet...


And yes, as an investor in both AMD and Intel, I would sure like to see an end to this price war! :)


RE: th wonders of AMD
By joset00 on 12/16/2006 8:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In spite of the increased packing density of the 45nm generation transistors, IBM and AMD demonstrated multiple enhanced transistor strain techniques that give an 80 per cent increase in p-channel transistor drive current and a 24 per cent increase in n-channel transistor drive current compared to unstrained transistors .


Well noted.
I guess the statement speaks for itself; it should refer to any incremental advantage over any previous straining techniques.

quote:
Not to mention the fact that high-k gate dielectrics say bye bye to gate leakage.


Not quite. Leakage can effectively be reduced... but not avoided.

quote:
Mmm, and I wonder how the dielectric constant of the AMD/IBM 'ultra-low-k' interconnect dielectric compares to the Intel?


You mentioned it... 'ultra-low-k interconnect '. And, that's what IBM/AMD are referring to when addressing the 'big' three issues concerning process improvements, not the gate oxide itself (so much for the AMD/Intel's comparison on transistor process dielectrics...)

http://www.physorg.com/news85247225.html


Cheers!


RE: th wonders of AMD
By JumpingJack on 12/16/2006 12:04:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The new DSL process increases efficiency by as much as 80% I believe.


Not hardly... AMD published 4 stressors DSL (2 of them), eSiGe, and stress memorization. Cummulative they improve PMOS 63% and NMOS 32%, the combined CMOS improvement reported by AMD is 40% (factoring inverted logic comprises a mix of NMOS and PMOS) --- and this is comparing to a transistor built without the technology, not against 90 nm, that comparison would need to be made by comparing Idsat for both at equivalent gate lengths. Even at 40%, the release 65 nm is a paultry 2.6 GHz top bin split at launch, and OC is anemic at barely 2.95 GHz stock, and 3.1 GHz (xtremesys.org/forums) using a wizz bang FX-74 cooler (which you know must be fantastic).... Suggesting the move to 65 nm helped a little in power and some in size only.

In fact, the die size of a 512x2 X2 is 112 mm^2 as reported by Semiconductor Insights (registration required), so they didn't even meet the 50% scaling factor that 90 to 65 nm should have accomplished.

AMD 65 nm is looking to be a dud.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By JumpingJack on 12/16/2006 12:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
Here is the link to the data:
http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RW...
4 stressors, 40% improvement over transistors without the stress -- 63% for PMOS, 32% for NMOS


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 1:19:27 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Intel is supposed to meet Q307, which, even if AMD makes this goal, 6-9 months behind

You're confusing Q3 production with Q3 delivery ...
Intel starts production in Q3 07 for a Q1 08 delivery (possibly the end of Q4 07).
AMD is scheduled for an end of Q2 08 delivery ...
quote:
For half of that 26 month period, AMD was still proclaiming it was "on track", though they clearly weren't

Of course they were and are...
Again, it's because people read what they want to believe...
AMD has always been stating a Q2/Q3 06 production for 65nm, and a Q4 06 delivery...this has happened.
quote:
Intel demoed 45nm chips a year ago

And AMD demoed them less than 3 months after Intel...


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Shintai on 12/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 9:06:55 AM , Rating: 5
Ahhh...it's Shintai, King of the Intel oscillating airflow devices! :)
quote:
AMD wanted 65nm in 2005 aswell

As I'm sure that Intel wanted 22nm in 1986...what's your point?
BTW, AMD's first working 65nm chips came out at the launch of Fab 36 in October of 2005...
quote:
Only reason AMD can say 56nm for 2006 is due to a paperlaunch, else it would be 2007

I assume you mean 65nm...(USE the preview) :)
AMD 65nm has been shipping for awhile already...it says clearly in AMD's FAQ that they are OEM-only parts.
http://tinyurl.com/y65ng5
This should be obvious as the only real difference between the 90nm and 65nm part (functionally) is that the 65nm uses much less power. For desktop, this is only really important for OEM designs, so they really aren't targeted for the channel at all.
quote:
Oh, and I forgot to add. Intel ships 45nm CPUs in Q3 2007

Hmmm...not according to Intel.
http://techreport.com/etc/2006q4/fall-idf/index.x?...
From the Fall IDF in October...look at the slide and note that Penryn isn't due to ARRIVE until after 2007.

Shipping in H2 2007 can mean Dec 31 2007, and it takes a month after initial shipping for availability.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By camped69 on 12/13/2006 11:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
Regardless, the news here in Aloha is that the fab is producing 45nm as we type.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Shintai on 12/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: th wonders of AMD
By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 8:54:37 AM , Rating: 2
> "AMD has always been stating a Q2/Q3 06 production for 65nm, and a Q4 06 delivery..."

Are memories so short? Fab 36 was initially planned to be 65nm right from the start. Early 2005, AMD was claiming it would begin 65nm processing that year, and deliver early 2006. Late 2004, they were even more aggressive, with AMD's Bob Rivest claiming this was the node in which they would "close the process gap" with Intel.

> "Intel starts production in Q3 07 for a Q1 08 delivery ..."

No once again.

quote:
11/27/2006: According to the director of Intel, the company is on-track to produce Penryn in volumes and ship them to customers in the second half of 2007 .
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/200611271...

Penryn is a 45nm core, I hardly need point out.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/13/2006 9:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Fab 36 was initially planned to be 65nm right from the start

Really? I know that Fab 36 was always to become a 65nm then 32nm Fab, but I also know that it has always been planned to start at 90nm while they get 300mm up to speed...do you have a link from them that says otherwise?
quote:
Early 2005, AMD was claiming it would begin 65nm processing that year, and deliver early 2006

I believe you mis-remember...they said 65nm would begin sampling that year (which it did), and begin production in Q2 06 (which it did) for availability in Q4 06 (which it is).

"the company is on-track to produce Penryn in volumes and ship them to customers in the second half of 2007."

And you can't see how that might be slightly in the wrong context (remember that it's not a quote, it's a summation)?
Everything Intel has published says delivery in Q1 2008...
Even if they begin shipping in November of 2007 (H2 07), availability won't occur until Q1 08...
Also, it makes NO sense for them to have availability in Q3 or Q4 as they are launching their 65nm refresh in Q3, and Penryn will be replacing these...


RE: th wonders of AMD
By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 9:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
> "Really?

Really. Takes about a minute to find a few dozen sources. Here's one:

quote:
AMD opened its new chip making foundry, Fab 36, in Dresden, Germany yesterday with much fanfare. The new facility is intended to be a centerpiece of the company's growth and expansion. The foundry produces 300mm wafers using 90nm technology, but will support fabrication processes as thin as 32nm. Initial plans were for Fab 36 to produce 65nm wafers upon opening, but those plans had since changed ....
http://www.betaone.net/forum/thread-18052.html

I clearly remember hundreds of news stories from 2004, claiming Fab 36 would begin production at 65nm. Plans changed after Xmas, if I remember right.

> "I believe you mis-remember...they said 65nm would begin sampling that year (which it did), and begin production in Q2 06..."

I misremember nothing. When an AMD VP stands up and says they will "close the process gap" with Intel at 65nm, its hard to forget.

BTW, AMD went through the same thing at 90nm. They originally planned volume production Q2 04, and instead they barely hit sampling by that date.

> "Everything Intel has published says delivery in Q1 2008... "

Well, you can always claim Intel was misquoted...that's a hard thing to prove or disprove now though. However, I've seen several quotes from Intel execs claiming delivery in late 2007.



RE: th wonders of AMD
By sbanjac on 12/13/2006 4:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
Lol this subject has gone to far. You just proved in your last post what i was trying to say. It is a wonder how AMD manages to keep up, it was so with 90nm, 65 nm, even 130nm, and before that 180nm.... Market capitalization all time high of intel is 200 000 000 000 of dollars, wheres AMDs had a max market capitalization of 11 500 000 000 dollars... Even now the difference is times 10, and i don't see core2duos or quads busting FX'2 times 10. It is a meare 10 % for the money you invest...


RE: th wonders of AMD
By Viditor on 12/14/2006 12:12:54 AM , Rating: 2
I think that the problem here is that you are confusing people's guesses with actual announcements...
That forum message you linked came originally from an x-bit piece by Anton Shilov (as I suspect did most of what you Googled). His original comment was:
"The new foundry by AMD processes 300mm wafers and uses 90nm process technology, not 65nm technology as AMD said earlier. The fab is expandable and will be able to produce chips using more product lines and utilizing fabrication processes as thin as 32nm"

He did not (as he usually does) link to any statement from AMD on this, and as I have gone over most of their PRs and statements, I can say that he got it slightly wrong.

quote:
When an AMD VP stands up and says they will "close the process gap" with Intel at 65nm, its hard to forget


On this you may have a point...Rivet underestimated Intel in 2004.

quote:
Well, you can always claim Intel was misquoted...that's a hard thing to prove or disprove now though. However, I've seen several quotes from Intel execs claiming delivery in late 2007

It's not a quote, it's one of their foils from the presentation at IDF in October...pretty much black and white (or blue and white in this case).

Delivery in late Dec 2007 is not inconsistent with any of what I've been saying. There is usually at least a one month lag between delivery and availability. So delivery in Dec 07 means availability in Jan 08...


RE: th wonders of AMD
By masher2 (blog) on 12/14/2006 8:19:06 AM , Rating: 1
> "Delivery in late Dec 2007 is not inconsistent "

The statement wasn't "late December 2007". It was "second half" of 07. Personally, I expect to see delivery *and* availability of Intel's 45nm chips in the Sep timeframe.

> "I think that the problem here is that you are confusing people's guesses with actual announcements"

I think the problem here is wishful thinking on your part. Here's an older story from 2003, based on on EETimes interview with an AMD VP:

quote:
AMD and IBM said the terms of their agreement would allow them to use the jointly-developed process technologies to manufacture products in their own chip fabrication facilities and in conjunction with selected manufacturing partners. The companies expect first products based on the new 65nm technologies to appear in 2005 ...


Anyone who doesn't know that AMD was planning to have 65nm chips out substantially earlier than they did, was either asleep from 2002 to 2004, or on a desert island without Internet access.


RE: th wonders of AMD
By ChipDude on 12/13/2006 11:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
What if AMD had Intel’s process? Given the raw speed up for the same node;
90nm to 90nm and 65nm to 65nm. I'd wager that AMD product on INTEL process
(Design rules aside) would be 15-20% faster clock.


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

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