SANTA CLARA, Calif. – IBM sketched out its visions of the fab future at the recent Common Platform Technology Forum, the chip alliance of IBM, Globalfoundries and Samsung. Specifically, an IBM scientist spotlighted double patterning tricks with immersion lithography. Big Blue also showed advances in fully depleted silicon-on-insulator and plans for silicon photonics, nanowires and other new twists ahead on the semiconductor road map. The following pages provide a few excerpts from the talks, starting with lithography.
“Since the 45 nm node we have been on a steady downward path, but [extreme ultraviolet lithography] can bring us back,” said Gary Patton, chief technologist in IBM’s semiconductor research group said, referring to the foil below. “EUV represents “the biggest change in the history of lithography [because] EUV light is extremely hard to work with—it’s absorbed by any material, including reflective lenses and masks,” he added.
Nevertheless, “I believe CMOS scaling will continue, [but] it will require disruptive technologies such as carbon nanotubes and silicon photonics,” he said.
Patterning at 7nm is obviously tough but sounds people think it can be done...but is Mosfet still working at 7nm?...what is Ion/Ioff ratio?...how many dopant atoms are within transistor volume? what about statistical variations that could be huge?
That is the length of the whole unit cell. There are more atoms within the cell since it is a diamond crystal structure. Actual figures depend on orientation but for a 100 direction it would be 4x that.
IBM has been mostly irrelevant to semiconductor process technology for at least a decade. I doubt many outside IBM can clear state why they even still do it. They certainly don't make any money from it. Yerning for the glory days perhaps?
IBM Makes its money from Selling Enterprise Systems, that include full bundle including Software, Servers, data warehouse, and services. IBM Chip tech is developed for its server Chips and related SOCs, That gives them tech advantage over competition.
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.