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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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By JumpingJack on 12/17/2006 2:00:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
While I agree that AMD's 90nm was superior, it wasn't THAT superior...the issue for Intel wasn't the process, it was the netburst design.


You are incorrect that AMD's 90 nm was superior, you are correct that the Netburst design was far from optimum and was the main problem.

Device performance for both clock speed and power are a convoluted function of both design (architecture) and process.

Take, for example, a 90 nm mobile part (Dothan or Banias) clocked up to 2.8 GHz (desktop speed) and compare to AMD at the same relative clocks. The Pentium-M in this case is made on the same 90 nm process that the Pentium 4 (prescott) was made, yet trades blows with AMD but at lower power.... to extrapolate one that one company has a better process over the other simply by power and computational performance is erroneous -- it cannot be done. To compare process technology directly takes data from the fundamental transistor parametrics. (See other posts below from ChipDude, he is bang on).

Data:
http://www.matbe.com/articles/lire/298/pc-desktop-...

This is one the only sites I could find that actually did an experiment to see what a Pentium-M at desktop clock speed could do.... truly odd Intel stuck with Netburst soo long.


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