A Node By Any Other Name

Have you ever wondered what gives a particular CMOS technology node its name? When we talk about 20nm, 16nm or 14nm, what exactly does that number in front of the “nm” mean anyway? Is it the first layer metal half-pitch or the gate length (and while we’re at it, is that the printed gate length, the physical gate length, or the effective gate length)? The half-pitch refers to half the m... » read more