What Will 7nm And 5nm Look Like?

Citing an assortment of undisclosed manufacturing issues, Intel in July pushed out the introduction of its 10nm chip and process technology to the second half of 2017. This is roughly six or more months later than expected. With the delay at 10nm, [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"] also pushed out its process cadence from 2 to 2.5 years. Other foundries, meanwhile, are struggling to keep ... » read more

One-On-One: Aaron Thean

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss process technology, transistor trends and other topics with Aaron Thean, vice president of process technologies and director of the logic devices R&D program at Imec. SE: Chipmakers are ramping up the 16nm/14nm logic node, with 10nm and 7nm in R&D. What’s the current timeline for 10nm and 7nm? Thean: 10nm is on its way. We will see r... » read more

What’s After CMOS?

Chipmakers continue to scale the CMOS transistor to finer geometries, but the question is for how much longer. The current thinking is that the CMOS transistor could scale at least to the 3nm node in the 2021 timeframe. And then, CMOS could run out of gas, prompting the need for a new switch technology. So what’s after the CMOS-based transistor? Carbon nanotubes and graphene get the most a... » read more

Tunnel FETs Emerge In Scaling Race

Traditional CMOS scaling will continue for the foreseeable future, possibly to the 5nm node and perhaps beyond, according to many chipmakers. In fact, chipmakers already are plotting out a path toward the 5nm node, but needless to say, the industry faces a multitude of challenges along the road. Presently, the leading transistor candidates for 5nm are the usual suspects—III-V finFETs; gate... » read more

Getting Ready For High-Mobility FinFETs

By Mark LaPedus The IC industry entered the finFET era in 2011, when Intel leapfrogged the competition and rolled out the newfangled transistor technology at the 22nm node. Intel hopes to ramp up its second-generation finFET devices at 14nm by year’s end, with plans to debut its 11nm technology by 2015. Hoping to close the gap with Intel, silicon foundries are accelerating their efforts t... » read more

Brother, Can You Spare An Electron?

Every now and then in semiconductor design we come to a crossroads where we have to start thinking about problems differently. At 10nm we will be forced to do that again. The problem—or opportunity, depending on your vantage point—this time involves electrons. While they’ve become increasingly difficult to manage in ever-thinner wires, where RC delay is producing unwanted heat, and in ... » read more

New Terms, New Problems

At the distant forefront of research there is very little marketing. After all, what’s the point? Until recently, much of this stuff was theoretical physics, and products weren’t even a consideration. It wasn’t until the past decade when we could actually see atoms. We had to theorize them. And it wasn’t until the past few years when we actually began taking stacked die seriously. Bu... » read more