If one wagered on EUV's introduction, one would be broke. Changing its name from SXPL (soft x-ray projection lithography) didn't change its wavelength. Optical will reign, surely in logic, and the seamless integration of design and manufacturing will be critical to success. IDMs will regain (retain?) supremacy. Memory will find cheaper alternatives. This has been obvious for a decade.
This sounds like a shameless advertisement.
The problem is that today's fabs are so outrageously expensive. There might be only 2 or 3 companies with the volumes and needs that they can afford to maintain leading edge fabs. Intel is uniquely one of those. Maybe a Samsung.
The other problem is complexity - complexity of circuits, software, systems, test, process... The experience to get all that right to have a high yield of chips come off the line (all the way to packaged goods - perhaps multi-chip) is extraordinary and rare. Just because you can throw the Xistors down doesn't mean they work nicely.
I think Intel is a company that has that level of experience, from system-level design all the way to their tiny transistor processes.
IDM would certainly be the preferred way to go, but most companies must rely on available off-the-shelf processes, tools, and s/w. I think Intel indeed has a unique advantage in this area, and they're working it.
There are many factors that can be exercised to keep most chips on a Moore's Law progress curve, but I'd rather be an Intel IDM that can also take advantage of intimate process knowledge, 450mm, & 14nm, as well as the multi-core, 3-D, multi-chip modules... that everyone else rides on. If you're looking for performance, Intel continues to prove itself.
Most companies can no longer even dream of being an IDM; they've just got to do the best they can with licensed IP, foundries, and off-the-shelf s/w. But they're doing well in lots of markets with lots of chips.
I don't think you will see a lot of companies building their own fabs now. The costs are too great for most companies and even the ones that do have the cash would rather spend it in other ways. The foundaries are here to stay.
Due to double and triple patterning without EUV, 14nm becomes expensive proposition for general foundry customers.
According to ASML multiple patterning is not even an option for the foundries at 14nm.
Reversal from the foundry model back to IDM ?
I think ASML comments addresse the real rootcause
When asked if the multipatterning issues at 14-nm applied to both integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and foundries Meurice said: "At 14-nm foundries have a challenge that the IDMs would not have. The challenge is that they have to deliver design rules which are less restrictive and they have to deliver a shrink that is very aggressive." As such the decision to go to EUV for 14-nm concerns the foundry environment more than the microprocessor environment, Meurice said.
Technology should be available for prototyping from TSMC and Samsung by 2014(Unlikely from other foundries like Global). The issues are more of economics than technology availability. Due to double and triple patterning without EUV, 14nm becomes expensive proposition for general foundry customers. That's the benefit of Intel having captive fabs for CPUs. Intel can eat up the cost for better performance CPUs but general fabless can't unless EUV comes up in time.
I believe that Intel will be the only company to feature finFETS AND a 14 nm process in 2014. It will be interesting to see how long it will take the foundries to arrive at roughly the same process technology.
There is a lot of time between now and 2014. Intel may be first to the press about their plans for 2014, but I wouldnt count TSMC or Samsung out (I might count Global out...) just because they are not running to publicize what technology they may be using in 2 years. actually, in terms of business model, I think it will be more important for the foundries to push 450mm instead of sub 20nm geometry anyway. interesting times ahead.
Intel is at present one full node ahead of fundries - for the first time ever.
In 2014 Intel will be in volume production at 14nm. If this is indeed correct foundries will be two full nodes behind Intel.
Maybe the die costs are not any longer declining as fast as before from node to node. But power usage and speed certainly do. I am sure that ARM-based processor universe is very concerned - in smartphones and in micro-servers.
The only company that has proven to be able to fast follow Intel is another IDM - Samsung. Samsung will probably be happy to continue to be a "foundry" for a select mega-customers a la Apple.
And by 2016/17 we will see first 450mm production - in 10nm
My thanks to Zvi - always thoughtful and energetic doer
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