Engineers have worked on various forms of vertical transistors for years, and will continue to do so. But 2012 was the year one company used them in mass production: Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors hit the market in 2012 with its 22-nm tri-gate transistor process, giving it a significant edge over other chip makers, the x86 giant claimed.
Competitors disagree, of course, many noting the doped devices create difficulties in threshold voltages. They maintain undoped FinFETs will be required to deliver the full advantage of the technology. IBM suggested it could go all the way to a 10-nm process without FinFETs, but other top chip makers including Globalfoundries and TSMC laid out plans this year showing FinFETs on their road maps.