SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel will describe its 22-nm tri-gate (FinFET) SoC technology for mobile applications Monday (Dec. 10) at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) here.
The chip maker introduced a CPU version of its 22-nm offering in June, but Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr said in an interview that the recipe has been tweaked in order to scale down to a more mobile, ultra-low leakage version.
The change means Intel will now be able to boast product support from high performance servers down to cell phones on a tri-gate 22-nm process, with transistors covering a wide range of performance barriers.
Intel’s new SoC technology also includes high voltage I/O transistors, precision resistors, capacitors and inductors that were not included on the original CPU version of the chip.
The SoC’s will be ready for high volume manufacturing in 2013, Bohr said.
Intel had tended to focus heavily on performance, but is now looking to widen its transistor scope. On the performance side of the scale is the CPU version of Ivy Bridge, which also exhibits higher power leakage. On the lower end of the scale, however, Intel is seeking to offering a range of choices.
“There isn’t just one version of our SoC technology," Bohr said. "We [will] offer a rich menu of options to pick and choose from, both different transistor options and different interconnect options,” said Bohr.
TSMC has an infrastructure and process to enable IP houses to develop analog, memory and other process-specific IP. That way anyone who uses the new process can choose from many offering. That's my understanding why Intel's mobile offerings are so poor-featured compared ARM-based developed by Qualcomm, Samsung and Nvidia. Tri-gate process is a great improvement and the step in the right direction to enable mobile market, but I am not sure if this is sufficient alone. Even if Intel opens its fab to others today, it still has a lot to catch up with the way other fabs are supporting their customers. Thanks for the interesting article!
Everyone who plays/played the "Master of Orion" or the "Civilization" series of global/galactic strategy games knows that "raping the tech tree" is the key to victory. I can't see how that's any different for the semiconductor industry and the process technology tree.
This looks like (at least) a dual gate oxide SoC, so it's definitely more expensive to make than single gate oxide logic. Triple gate oxide is not unheard of either. The gate layer in this case is therefore already triple patterned for non-lithographic, electrical reasons alone.
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.