SAN JOSE, Calif. - For years, Intel Corp. has dismissed the need to use silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology for its processors.
Instead, Intel has solved the power, leakage and mobility issues with high-k/metal gates, strained-silicon and other technologies. Intel’s rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), has been using SOI in its microprocessors for years.
According to an analyst, Intel will reverse its strategy and embrace SOI at the 22-nm. In recent months, Intel has tipped some (but not all) details of its 22-nm process. It has certainly not talked about SOI. The chip giant tends to dismiss it.
''We believe Intel will introduce a germanium (III V) channel and full depleted SOI at 22-nm. This will give Intel a quantum leap in performance over what they are achieving and leave competitors 3-5 years behind. The 22-nm process should be in manufacturing at Intel in Q4:CY11,’’ said Gus Richard, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., in a report.
''Intel's lithography roadmap is to use immersion double and multi- patterning at the 22-nm and 16-nm nodes,’’ Richard said. ''We note that Intel has consistently pushed lithography one generation further than any other manufacturer. What enables the company to do this in our view is the fact it is vertically integrated (design and manufacturing), has its own mask shop and uses restrictive design rules.’’
Then, Intel could make a switch. ''At 11-nm in 2015, Intel's options are multi-beam e-beam, EUV and quintuple patterning with 193 immersions. It is questionable whether any of these alternatives will be economically viable,’’ he said.