Intel putting fins on at 22 nm
5/4/2011 12:39 PM EDT
Targeting tablet market
Today's partially-depleted SOI is not enough for the
22-nm node meaning the next generation of fully-depleted (FD-SOI)
devices is necessary. Although FD-SOI could provide the performance
benefits required at 22-nm, Intel claims it will add 10 percent to the
manufacturing cost while the Tri-Gate process adds only two to three
percent. The Tri-Gate process builds upon earlier high-k metal gate
technology that will continue with Intel's 22-nm platform.
For a while now, Intel has touted the capability to tailor transistors
for highest performance or lowest power and all points in between. 45-
and 32-nm technology platforms from Intel have allowed the chip
architects and product people to offer compromises for computing
capability and power consumption specific to the application.
With the 22-nm Tri-gate process, Intel feels it is ready to not only
move into but become a leader in the tablet and smartphone space. Intel
created the netbook segment with Atom. The market for netbooks continues
to create sockets for Intel to fill. There has never been much
competition for them in this space. Atom was widely adopted with low
cost as its main design spec. That satisfied the demand for netbooks,
but Atom had not yet established a beach head in smart phones due to the
multi-chip solution and power consumption.
The product side of the analyst briefings were provided by Stephen
Smith, who heads up a new product group devoted to netbooks and tablets.
Although Intel is known as a server-desktop-laptop player, Smith
pointed out that the most recent offerings in the Atom line at 32-nm
have begun to push them further into the tablet and smartphone market.
However, the flexibility for lower power consumption or much higher
performance in a reduced power envelope with 22-nm Tri-Gate has the
potential to make Intel a serious player as they take a big step beyond