IBM Leapfrogs Intel to 7nm
PORTLAND, Ore.–IBM Research Albany, N.Y. has leapfrogged Intel to the 7-nanometer node by perfecting extreme ultra-violet EUV lithography and using silicon-germanium channels for its finned field-effect transistors FinFETs.
This breakthrough demonstration should also keep IBM on-track in delivering its next-generation Power 8+ next year and it Power-9 processors the year after, manufactured for it by GlobalFoundries. Alliance development partner Samsung will also get a leg-up on its race to catch up with Intel by 2018 when the first production 7-nanometer chips are expected to appear. The 7-nanometer test chips were fabricated at the alliance’s 300 millimeter fab at the State University of New York SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering CNSE, Albany, New York.”I’m surprised and impressed,” Richard Fichera, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Cambridge, Mass. told EE Times in advance of the announcement. “It doesn’t mean they are going win the 7-nanometer race, but it shows that they are still in the race. People that were counting them out are now going to be changing their minds. IBM has done a lot of materials research and gate design to make this happen, whereas all the stuff that Intel talked about at 7-nanometer node was hesitant. There is no guarantee that IBM will get it into production before Intel, but its a wakeup call to Intel that there is someone breathing down their neck even if Intel ends up becoming the major producer of 7-nanometer parts.”