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michigan0   2/21/2014 10:04:27 PM

Sang Kim


Let's look back at IBM major failures before talking about IBM's 

still source of chip innovation. Early 1950 IBM embarked a 

multibillion dollar project to build a direct writing electron beam 

lithography machine to leapfrog its rivals because IBM believed 

the conventional optical lithography couldn't print 100nm node 

channel length or gate length.  IBM finally built the several 

E-beam litho-tools after several years of extensive R/D efforts 

and enormous expenditures, billions. The electron beam 

deflection and focus column was as tall as 6 ft. The E-beam litho 

tool was used to manufacture 100nm node transistors, but 

unfortunately, the transistors all failed because of hot electron 

effects. At that period IBM did not know how to prevent hot 

carrier induced device failure except increasing the gate 

(channel) length. If the gate length, Lg were increased, then the 

E-beam litho tool wouldn't be required. That was the end of 

E-beam tool. Can you imagine that the extreme UV litho can be 

extended to the end of Roadmap? IBM donated Its E-beam litho 

tools to universities for research. A large number of the failed 

IBM E-Beam team still runs IBM R/D projects today.


IBM was one of the last companies that adopted the polysilicon 

gate technology from metal gate because the polysilicon 

technology was not developed by IBM.


IBM invented PDSOI, FDSOI, and ETSOI over a decade ago and 

formed international SOI consortium to develop and 

manufacture SOI based transistors but non of them is high 

volume manufactured at 28nm today. Bulk Si 28nm is volume 

manufactured for several years by major semiconductor 



We are at a new technology era today: FinFET. FinFET 

technology was first developed by Intel, and its 22nm FinFET is 

in mass production over 2 years. TSMC 16nm FinFETs are 

volume manufactured possibly in 2015. According to FinFET 

physics FinFET can be extended to the end of Roadmap. IBM is 

not in the picture. Is IBM "Still Major Source of Chip 

Innovation..." ? I doubt it. IBM exited long ago!

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CMOS Technology...
Charles.Desassure   2/20/2014 1:50:53 AM
I strongly agree with your article.  IBM doesn't make the front page news like it use to, but IBM continues to play a key role within many makets to include the CMOS technology. 

Susan Rambo
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Re: restore micron / nano marker scale
Susan Rambo   2/19/2014 7:16:19 PM
Yes, the photos are better viewed on Chipworks' web site. Chipworks has more photos with this article on their site.

zewde yeraswork
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zewde yeraswork   2/19/2014 10:30:13 AM
The rumors of IBM's exit has leve less to do with a lack of innovation or technological advantage and more to do witht he company's overall business strategy. They have been getting out of more and more markets and contracting as a result. It's possible that they will stay in the chip business and fight it out, but I wouldn't count on it with the direction things have been moving in gradually.

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Re: restore micron / nano marker scale
SinjinDW   2/19/2014 9:55:22 AM
We may be able to provide images with the scale bar on request. Please email me directly.

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restore micron / nano marker scale
chipmonk0   2/19/2014 9:14:33 AM
in your photos to make your Teaser article more convincing

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