Intel thinks 10nm issues will not carry over into 7nm

Posted on Friday, May 18 2018 @ 10:21 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Intel's 10nm node is causing the firm a major headache as issues with the process resulted in multi-year delays and allowed AMD to catch up again. The 10nm issues were one of the talking points at Intel's 2018 Stockholders' Meeting.

At the event, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that he doesn't expect the 10nm issues would carry over into 7nm. In particular, Krzanich points out that Intel will set a less aggressive goal for 7nm than it did with 10nm, and he also hinted that EUV may make things easier:
And the simple answer is most of the problems that we encountered on 10-nanometer will not impact 7-nanometer and let me explain some of those. One 10-nanometer, we believe will be the last technology that we try and develop without EUV. EUV is the next generation lithography tool and if you understand semiconductor manufacturing lithography or the printing of the lines is the critical step in producing the product at the next smaller geometry. And we've been stuck without EUV for the longest period in the semiconductor industry history on a single type of lithography tool.

And 7-nanometer will be the first one that transitions to the new lithography tool, which then opens up our ability to print features that are much, much smaller, much more easily. So that's step one that's different between 10- and 7-nanometers. The other thing as we went back, if you remember for the earnings call, I said that one of the things we didn't ten 10-nanometers was took a much more aggressive scaling factor. We said we - instead of our typical 2.4, the industry actually goes between 1.5 and 2.

We went all the way up to 2.7 and that 2.7 is, you can just think of it as one over 2.7 as kind of being how much smaller you're trying to make it, caused a lot more interaction with the geometries as we try and make them so much smaller. At 7-nanometers, we go back to our 2.4 as an example. So we made changes like that to make 7-nanometer much more like our traditional technology innovations that we've done and hence we believe that most of the issues that occurred at 10-nanometers would not carry over into 7-nanometers. And we continue to monitor our progress on 7-nanometers and continue to be very positive about where we're at with 7-nanometers.
Guess we'll have to wait and see if Intel's manufacturing group can deliver on its promises this time!

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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