The Week In Review: Manufacturing

7nm shootout; 10nm servers; virtual reality group; robots.

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Chipmakers
At this week’s IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, TSMC as well as the team of GlobalFoundries, IBM and Samsung separately presented papers on 7nm finFET technology.

Qualcomm has begun sampling the world’s first 10nm server processor. As the first in the Qualcomm Centriq product family, the ARM-based processor has up to 48-cores and is built on 10nm finFET process technology, reportedly from Samsung.

Samsung, Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC VIVE, Facebook’s Oculus, and Sony Interactive Entertainment Global have formed the Virtual Reality Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth of the global virtual reality (VR) industry.

The field of robotics is heating up. Samsung has announced the availability of its new robot vacuum–the POWERbot Turbo. With 70 times more powerful suction than the leading robot vacuum brand, the POWERbot Turbo has Wi-Fi connectivity. It allows you to remotely guide the movement of your vacuum using your smartphone. There is even an extra convenience of voice-controlled vacuuming on demand through Amazon Alexa.

Micron Technology has completed the acquisition of Taiwan DRAM maker Inotera Memories. This represents a transaction value of approximately $4 billion.

Materials and equipment
Taiwan’s GlobalWafers has completed its acquisition of silicon wafer maker SunEdison Semiconductor in a transaction valued at $683 million.

In May, China’s Grand Chip Investment (GCI), a 100% indirect subsidiary of Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund, entered into an agreement to take over German MOCVD maker Aixtron. China’s move to acquire Aixtron appears to be over.

Market research
SEMI reported that worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings reached $11.0 billion in the third quarter of 2016. The billings figure is 5% higher than the second quarter of 2016 and 14% higher than the same quarter a year ago. The data is gathered jointly with the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ).

Related Stories
What Transistors Will Look Like At 5nm
As finFETs run out of steam after 7nm, what comes next? The debate is just beginning.
Sorting Out Next-Gen Memory
A long list of new memory types is hitting the market, but which ones will be successful isn’t clear yet.
Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 6, 2016
Magnet record; IEDM potpourri; 7nm; gate-all-around FETs.
The Week In Review: Manufacturing: Dec, 2 2016
Changes at SEMI; FD-SOI program; phone, PC, tablet forecasts.



  • witeken

    Mark LaPedus (or anyone else who has access to TSMC / TSMC IEDM 7nm paper),

    I’ve come into a disagreement with an analyst who thinks TSMC 7nm has gate pitch of 63nm, based on (1) published 28nm numbers of 90nm and 64nm for 5760nm2 area (2) TSMC’s IEDM 7nm paper claim of 40nm metal pitch and (3) his claim that the paper states 7nm has 0.43 area of 28nm.

    (5760 * 0.43) / 40 yields a gate pitch of 62nm.

    (For comparison, Intel 10nm has 54nm gate.)

    However, this seems a little optmistic to me because TSMC has claimed a 0.53x scaling at 10nm and 1.63x (density) at 7nm, which gives around 0.33x. So it seems plausible to me that that that 0.43x number is a typo.

    I do not have access to that paper however, so I can’t see the context (e.g. does it actuallt compare this metric or sram or something else), neither do I have contact with TSMC to ask for clarification.

    But I am quite sure you have.

    https://twitter.com/witeken/status/808739562117890053

    • Mark LaPedus

      Hi. I was at IEDM. I listened to TSMC’s 7nm paper. Sorry to say, but they didn’t provide any specs about the process. People at the event pressed TSMC for more details. No
      luck. So you know as much as I do. Sorry.