Intel’s component and logic technology development groups in Oregon
“cast a wide net,” exploring available options in processes,
transistors, interconnects, memories and other technologies, “and not
all of them work,” Bohr noted.
Separately, Bohr commented on
Intel’s policy on making chips for other companies. “It’s not our
intention to be in the foundry business, but we do have a small but
growing foundry offering,” he said. Besides selling wafers, the work
provides “a second-order benefit in getting input from other design
teams on how they would like to see our process technology optimized,”
Intel is considering many options including some not on this Intel slide.
Around 10 nm, you cannot merely have a radically new technology come in for one area but a whole package of technologies needed for devices, interconnect, etc. Plus we are now at the scale of electron mean free paths.
Yes, question is not if 10nm can be done but what economic advantage does it bring after spending Billions and Billions of $. With 80nm pitch used for 22nm that would mean ~40nm metal pitch for 10nm. There is no cost effective way to print. Plus even if lithography breakthrough, parasitic capacitance and line resistance are going to be so large chips will be slower and higher power.
I have no doubt that Intel can get to 10 nm with quadruple patterning, but will they be able to suppport a reasonable business model once they get there? And what happens after 10 nm? Is that the end of scaling unless and until EUV litho kicks in at reasonable cost?
In his talk, Bohr said many features in the 22nm process use 80 pitch features, a size chose for this generation because they can be single patterned.
He did not say anything about double patterning at 22nm or quintuple patterning on any process.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.