Intel says 22nm manufacturing process is exceeding expectations

By on September 14, 2012, 7:30 AM

Intel spoke a great deal about their next generation Haswell processor earlier this week at IDF but the latest bit of information to emerge from the show has to do with the 22nm manufacturing process as well as next year’s 14nm die shrink.

Director of process technology Mark Bohr said their 22nm manufacturing process has exceeded expectations. The company’s new tri-gate transistor technology that debuted in Ivy Bridge processors earlier this year also received praise. Bohr explained that the transistors’ leakage and sub-threshold slope were more efficient than Intel had anticipated. As such, the technology will likely be extended to a couple more generations.

Work on the 14nm process shrink is also coming along swimmingly but it’s not without its own set of hurdles. In 22nm tri-gate technology, the transistor pitch (the distance between two transistors) is 80nm. This also happens to be the smallest pitch possible using single-pattern lithography so in order to go even smaller, Intel has to use double patterning to obtain tighter pitches.

Additional steps in the lithography process will add extra cost but according to Bohr, that expense won’t be passed on to the consumer. Improved density will offset the additional wafer cost and allow Intel to continue to reduce the per transistor cost.

The 14nm manufacturing process is currently on track for production around the end of next year but of course we probably won’t see chips built on the process until sometime in 2014.




User Comments: 10

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1 person liked this | captainawesome captainawesome said:

I reckon 2015 is gonna be manic year for computing. Tiny-ass chips, memristors, massive density HDD's and SSD's. 4k monitors. gonna be GOOD. Poor console owners will prolly still be stuck on 720p images 'upscaled' to 1080p in 2015 :P

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I must say, I think this highlights something though. CPU and GPU tech is moving along nicely. RAM and other storage is not moving quite as quickly. Sure the SSD players are trying to push boundaries but the silly SATA interface continues to be the bottleneck. I'm betting that we will see 12GBPS SATA interface in 2014 but it's just going to be satured again.

We need a 1 time no hassle optic based interface that is capable of 100GBPS. Something that will not be saturated for 10 years.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

RAM and other storage is not moving quite as quickly.

In the meantime, despite I'll never use up 16GB on my desktop, I pick up 32GB, only because it's dirt-cheap, $200 only. With my last desktop from only 2 years ago I couldn't afford more than 8GB RAM.

Guest said:

Ha, I don't even reach 2/3 of my 8 gigs of ram, even if I have everything open, a trillion chrome taps and a game open.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Still rocking my first gen i7, 12GB of triple channel, RAID SSD, and its plenty fast for what I do. Unless I have some catastrophic system failure I don't see myself changing anything for a while. I'll surly wait for 2015, unless a bunch of money is begging me to spend it. Everyone wants faster, but what are you doing that needs to be THAT much faster? With regards to high end multi threaded application that actually use every possible core.

Guest said:

What am I going to be doing that much faster? Oh, how about working with 10,000 part mechanical assemblies that today crawl (I'll concede that Autodesk Inventor is CPU limited because it is not fully multithreaded), or maybe real time (30fps) ray traced presentations. Autodesk showcase is nice, but still way too slow on even high end i7s.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Still rocking my first gen i7, 12GB of triple channel, RAID SSD, and its plenty fast for what I do. Unless I have some catastrophic system failure I don't see myself changing anything for a while. I'll surly wait for 2015, unless a bunch of money is begging me to spend it. Everyone wants faster, but what are you doing that needs to be THAT much faster? With regards to high end multi threaded application that actually use every possible core.

Completely agree, I have and i7 970 setup with raid ssd also and never stretch its legs unless im converting hd video with hand brake.

Guest said:

Its not about the size of the RAM, it is about the speed and timing of the Ram

waterytowers said:

At the moment my limiting factor is the number of cores in my laptop.

I have 16GB of RAM, of which I have exhausted a few times. I would need more RAM if the number of cores increased. I think 16 cores would be a nice number with a 15inch/17inch screen at 2560x1200. The graphics card only needs to be able to run the screen at that resolution for basic programming tasks, so I don't require a high end GPU.

Yes I am using a desktop replacement. Why do I need the CPU/RAM? I run a lot of VMs for development. I prefer to use the actual target OS for the software I am building and there are a number of machines required to run an end-to-end environment. I catch public transport and use my laptop for work and learning to and from work.

I may be able to use a personal cloud environment when we eventually get 1Gbps WWAN with 1TB data for our portable devices, but that is not going to happen in the near term, and it will be prohibitively expensive when it does come along.

Bring on the die shrinks, I want more cores in my portable devices. I want a portable device that can run my cloud on the go.

Jack V Jack V said:

I reckon 2015 is gonna be manic year for computing. Tiny-ass chips, memristors, massive density HDD's and SSD's. 4k monitors. gonna be GOOD. Poor console owners will prolly still be stuck on 720p images 'upscaled' to 1080p in 2015 :P

The next gen consoles will arrive before 2015, we will see native 1080p on them.

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