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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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RE: th wonders of AMD
By masher2 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:

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 ....

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.

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.

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 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:

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.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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