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[ ET ] Seeing double: TSMC adopts new lithography technique to push Moore’s law to 20nm

post #1 of 18
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As process nodes shrink, it’s become increasingly difficult for the major semiconductor foundries to offer compelling advantages at each new node. TSMC recently disclosed some additional information about how it intends to build 20nm chips using double patterning. The technique, while vital to constructing processors at this node, comes with some significant costs.

For nearly a decade, TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and Intel have collectively relied on argon-fluoride (ArF) lasers to etch microprocessor wafers. These lasers generate light at 193nm, deep in the ultraviolet range, and have been instrumental in driving the semiconductor industry from 90nm geometries down to 28nm. Unfortunately, 193nm light has reached its effective limit — transistor densities below 28nm are simply too small for 193nm light to etch.


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post #2 of 18
So basically, more expensive Intel CPU's.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by linkin93 View Post

So basically, more expensive Intel CPU's.

Fun...
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by linkin93 View Post

So basically, more expensive Intel CPU's.

I'm curious how this will impact NV and AMD gpu costs as well. *sigh*
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post #5 of 18
Replace silicon already, it's limits have been reached.
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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daredevil 720 View Post

Replace silicon already, it's limits have been reached.

Not happening in the near-term.... A silicon fab already takes billions and there a tens of billions more invested in the supporting supply chain.

If a company wanted to move away from silicon unilaterally, they would have to take a $100B+ risk.
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

Not happening in the near-term.... A silicon fab already takes billions and there a tens of billions more invested in the supporting supply chain.

If a company wanted to move away from silicon unilaterally, they would have to take a $100B+ risk.

Not to mention silicon should still be good to 8nm so it's not at the end of the life cycle yet.
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by linkin93 View Post

So basically, more expensive Intel CPU's.

Intel already invested in double patterning years ago and has implemented it. TSMC and Glofo are just now starting to invest in it, while intel already has it long under their belt; Intel is just way ahead of everyone else in terms of lithography - without a detailed explanation, TSMC's 28nm is comparable to intel's 32nm. By the time intel hits 14nm next year, they will again quantum leap past everyone else.
post #9 of 18
With TSMC moving in rapid pase due to it being the only capable manufacturer besides intel (globalfoundries is an arabic joke) they will be head to head 2-3 years from now.
At least that is what I think and hope.
post #10 of 18
isnt samsung working on 20nm also?
so we will have, three big fabs producing silicon 20nm or under now? intel, TSMC, and samsung...is there another?
do IBM fabs sell anything openly or are they just for R&D?
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