IBM shows 7nm chip is possible!

|July 10, 2015 0

USA: IBM Research alongwith GlobalFoundries and Samsung at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) has produced the semiconductor industry’s first 7nm (nanometer) node test chips with functioning transistors.

Industry experts consider 7nm technology crucial to meeting the anticipated demands of future cloud computing and Big Data systems, cognitive computing, mobile products and other emerging technologies.

Microprocessors utilizing 22nm and 14nm technology power today’s servers, cloud data centers and mobile devices, and 10nm technology is well on the way to becoming a mature technology.

                                 

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“For business and society to get the most out of tomorrow’s computers and devices, scaling to 7nm and beyond is essential,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research.

To achieve the higher performance, lower power and scaling benefits promised by 7nm technology, researchers had to bypass conventional semiconductor manufacturing approaches.

It could result in the ability to place more than 20 billion tiny switches – transistors – on the fingernail-sized chips that power everything from smartphones to spacecraft.

The IBM Research-led alliance achieved close to 50 percent area scaling improvements over today’s most advanced technology, introduced SiGe channel material for transistor performance enhancement at 7nm node geometries, process innovations to stack them below 30nm pitch and full integration of EUV lithography at multiple levels. These techniques and scaling could result in at least a 50 percent power/performance improvement for next generation mainframe and POWER systems that will power the Big Data, cloud and mobile era.

Gary Patton, CTO and Head of Worldwide R&D at GLOBALFOUNDRIES said,”Through this joint collaborative program based at the Albany NanoTech Complex, we are able to maintain our focus on technology leadership for our clients and partners by helping to address the development challenges central to producing a smaller, faster, more cost efficient generation of semiconductors.”

This public-private partnership is a part of IBM’s $3 billion, five-year investment in chip R&D, announced last year.

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