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Intel Unveils 10, 22nm Processes

Transistor-density metric proposed
3/28/2017 08:45 PM EDT
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Left5
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Sorry, but Intel does not have process lead
Left5   3/29/2017 9:02:25 AM
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Firstly, TSMC and Samsung's 10nm (currently in production) is denser than Intel's 14nm - and that is even shown in Intel's slides.

Secondly, despite the fact that Intel want to pretend they do not exist, TSMC's and Samsung's 7nm do exist and are coming in 2018. TSMC's 7nm is as dense as Intel's 10nm. Intel will launch 10nm in very low volumns at end of 2017, but that's really only risk production - volume production will happen much later.

 

resistion
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Will there be delays?
resistion   3/29/2017 9:53:02 AM
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The proof is in the timely release. Will Cannonlake arrive on time?

Their Manufacturing Day announcement means they froze their 10nm process and should have at latest just started their pilot, which should be using Cannonlake as the vehicle.

rick merritt
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Late responses from TSMC, GF
rick merritt   3/29/2017 11:51:15 AM
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This morning I added into the story late comments on Intel's metric and 22FFL I got in overnight from GF and TSMC.

witeken
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Re: Sorry, but Intel does not have process lead
witeken   3/29/2017 12:07:40 PM
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Coming in 2018. On what volume? Late in the year (7nm not even taped out yet). So that will still be a year lead from Intel. And how do you know it will be just as dense? Firstly, TSMC has looser metal pitch (40nm vs. 36nm). Secondly, does TSMC have the single dummy gates (20% density improvement) or the COAG (10% IIRC). So end-chip density might still be appreciably higher; time to market will be up to a year earlier; and time to market also depends on what yield a company is willing to go into manufacturing which I strongly suspect is lower for TSMC. And lastly, how will performance and power compare? For instance, Intel will be in its 2nd generation air gaps.

 

Left5
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Re: Sorry, but Intel does not have process lead
Left5   3/29/2017 12:41:40 PM
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TSMC customers will tape out 7nm designs this quarter. The volume will be high, for the iPhone to launch. Yield has to be around 90%+ for it to enter volume production.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/03/tmsc-on-track-for-volume-production-of-7nm-chips-for-iphone-ipad-in-2018

Intel only release 10nm at end of 2017 for only low volume 2 core products and there is doubt that they can even deliver that: http://marketrealist.com/2017/03/could-intels-10nm-node-face-another-delay/ 

Obviously, performance is targetted towards smartphone SoC's, not PC's, but they will have a 7nm HPC process later.

m00nshine
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Re: Sorry, but Intel does not have process lead
m00nshine   3/29/2017 1:06:16 PM
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Which company has the "best" processors? The one that has the "best" metric? How about the company that makes the most $$ with their chips has the best chips? Also, this http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3121282 Also, I thought betamax was "better" than VHS...

Left5
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Re: Sorry, but Intel does not have process lead
Left5   3/29/2017 2:04:49 PM
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Also, while it's true Intel has tighter metal pitch (36 versus 40nm), TSMC is using a 6 track standard cell, while Intel is using 7.5 track. So, considering the other factors (dummy gates, etc.) it's not very clear which is denser.

photonic
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Re: Sorry, but Intel does not have process lead
photonic   3/29/2017 3:17:27 PM
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This is the story that is important, not how many companies Intel is buying.

rick merritt
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Do we need a standard metric or metrics?
rick merritt   3/29/2017 8:40:42 PM
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Good discussion here. I'd like to focus it a bit:

For chip designers looking to compare nodes, will Intel's density metric be useful?

Are there two or three other key technical metrics needed to round out the picture? If so, what are they?

Thx

 

 

paul.jhnson
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Re: Sorry, but Intel does not have process lead
paul.jhnson   3/29/2017 9:16:14 PM
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Intel clearly has process lead if it can deliver at 10nm with impressive 54 gate/36 metal pitch. No doubt it is giving them a distinct advantage over competitors. This is separate from layout being 6T/7.5T which in the end affects the density, but even then, I think Intel still seems to be ahead on average.

The big question is, what is the performance gain compared to the previous generation. That seems to be shrinking. Right now it doesn't sound to offer a big leap, but is to be seen.

BSFoundries (not even worth mentioning in the same article) can only dream about such densities. They better hope Intel 22FFL won't make FDSOI obsolote before they can export jobs and IP over to China. It's too much to ask for from a company where developing technology is only an afterthought. Especially when they lack the talent to do so.

22FFL rules look very easy for Intel to yield quickly, will be very interesting to watch if it performs as promised. Competition from TSMC will be fierce.

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