10 nanometer

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In semiconductor fabrication, the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) defines the 10 nanometer (10 nm) node as the technology node following the 14 nm node. "10 nm class" denotes chips made using process technologies between 10 and 20 nanometers. The 10 nm process from Intel is the same as[ambiguous] the 7 nm processes offered by Samsung and TSMC, thus, what really matters[neutrality is disputed] beyond 10 nm is transistor density (number of transistors per square milimeter), not transistor size.

All production "10 nm" processes are based on silicon CMOS finFET technology. Samsung first started their production of "10 nm" chips in 2016; with product shipments following through in 2017 in the form of Galaxy S8.


The ITRS's original naming of this technology node was "11 nm". According to the 2007 edition of the roadmap, by the year 2022, the half-pitch (i.e., half the distance between identical features in an array) for a DRAM should be 11 nm.

In 2008, Pat Gelsinger, at the time serving as Intel's Chief Technology Officer, said that Intel saw a 'clear way' towards the 10 nm node.[1][2]

In 2011, Samsung announced plans to introduce the 10Template:Nbapsnm process the following year.[3] In 2012, Samsung announced eMMC flash memory chips that are produced using the 10 nm process.[4]

In actuality, "10 nm" as it is generally understood in 2018 is only in high-volume production at Samsung. GlobalFoundries has skipped 10 nm, Intel has not yet started high-volume 10 nm production, due to yield issues, and TSMC has considered 10 nm to be a short-lived node,[5] mainly dedicated to processors for Apple during 2017–2018, moving on to 7 nm in 2018.

There is also a distinction to be made between 10 nm as marketed by foundries and 10 nm as marketed by DRAM companies.

Technology production history[edit]

In April 2013, Samsung announced that it had begun mass production of multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory chips using a 10 nm process.[6] On 17 October 2016, Samsung Electronics announced mass production of SoC chips at 10 nm.[7] The technology's main announced challenge has been triple patterning for its metal layer.[8][9]

On 21 April 2017, Samsung started shipping their Galaxy S8 smartphone which uses the company's version of the 10 nm processor.[10] On 12 June 2017, Apple delivered second-generation iPad Pro tablets powered with TSMC-produced Apple A10X chips using the 10 nm FinFET process.[11]

On September 12, 2017, Apple announced the Apple A11, a 64-bit ARM-based system on a chip, manufactured by TSMC using a 10 nm FinFET process and containing 4.3 billion transistors on a die of 87.66 mm2.

In April 2018, Intel announced a delay in volume production of 10 nm mainstream CPUs until sometime in 2019.[12] In July the exact time was further pinned down to the holiday season.[13] In the meantime, however, they did release a low-power 10 nm mobile chip, albeit exclusive to Chinese markets and with much of the chip disabled.[14]

In June 2018 at VLSI 2018, Samsung announced their 11LPP and 8LPP processes. 11LPP is a hybrid based on Samsung 14nm and 10nm technology. 11LPP is based on their 10nm BEOL, not their 20nm BEOL like their 14LPP. 8LPP is based on their 10LPP process.[15][16]

10 nm process nodes[edit]


ITRS Logic Device
Ground Rules
TSMC Samsung ITRS Logic Device
Ground Rules
Process name 11/10 nm 10 nm[a] 10 nm 10 nm 11 nm 8nm 16/14 nm
Transistor density (MTr / mm²) Unknown 100.8[18][b] 52.51[20] 51.82[16] 54.38[16] 61.18[16] Unknown
Transistor Gate Pitch (nm) 48 54 66 68 ? 64 70
Interconnect pitch (nm) 36 36 44 51 ? ? 56
Transistor Fin Pitch (nm) 36 34 36 42 ? 42 42
Transistor Fin Height (nm) 42 53 Unknown 49 ? ? 42
Production year N/A 2018 2017 2013[6] 2018 2018 N/A
  1. ^ Measurements of the process used for Cannon Lake in 2018. It is unclear whether these will be the same for Intel's next 10nm process in 2019.[17]
  2. ^ Intel uses this formula:[19]

Transistor gate pitch is also referred to as CPP (contacted poly pitch) and interconnect pitch is also referred to as MMP (minimum metal pitch). Samsung reported their 10 nm process as having a 64 nm transistor gate pitch and 48 nm interconnect pitch. TSMC reported their 10 nm process as having a 64 nm transistor gate pitch and 42 nm interconnect pitch. Further investigation by Tech Insights revealed these values to be false and they have been updated accordingly. In addition, the transistor fin height of Samsung's 10 nm process was updated by MSSCORPS CO at SEMICON Taiwan 2017.[21][22][23][24][25]


For the DRAM industry, the "10 nm" node is often referred to as "10 nm-class" and this dimension generally refers to the half-pitch of the active area.[citation needed] The "10 nm" foundry structures are generally much larger.[citation needed] Samsung is also the most prominent player for 10 nm-class DRAM.[26][not in citation given]


  1. ^ Damon Poeter. "Intel's Gelsinger Sees Clear Path To 10nm Chips". Archived from the original on 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
  2. ^ "MIT: Optical lithography good to 12 nanometers". Archived from the original on 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
  3. ^ "World's Largest Fabrication Facility, Line-16". Samsung. September 26, 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Samsung's new 10nm-process 64GB mobile flash memory chips are smaller, faster, better". Engadget. November 15, 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  5. ^ 10nm rollout
  6. ^ a b "Samsung Mass Producing 128Gb 3-bit MLC NAND Flash". Tom's Hardware. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  7. ^ Samsung Starts Industry’s First Mass Production of System-on-Chip with 10-Nanometer FinFET Technology, Oct 2016
  8. ^ Samsung 10nm announcement
  9. ^ triple patterning for 10nm metal
  10. ^ http://www.samsung.com/us/explore/galaxy-s8/buy/
  11. ^ techinsights.com. "10nm Rollout Marching Right Along". www.techinsights.com. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  12. ^ "Intel Corp. Delays 10nm Chip Production - Mass production is now scheduled for 2019". 2018-04-29. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  13. ^ "Intel says not to expect mainstream 10nm chips until 2H19". 2018-07-28. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  14. ^ "Intel's First 10nm Processor Lands In China". 2018-05-15. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  15. ^ "VLSI 2018: Samsung's 11nm nodelet, 11LPP". WikiChip Fuse. 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  16. ^ a b c d "VLSI 2018: Samsung's 8nm 8LPP, a 10nm extension". WikiChip Fuse. 2018-07-01. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  17. ^ Demerjian, Charlie (2018-08-02). "Intel guts 10nm to get it out the door". SemiAccurate. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Intel 10nm density is 2.7X improved over its 14nm node". HEXUS. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  19. ^ Bohr, Mark (2017-03-28). "Let's Clear Up the Node Naming Mess". Intel Newsroom. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  20. ^ Schor, David (2019-04-16). "TSMC Announces 6-Nanometer Process". WikiChip Fuse. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  21. ^ "Intel Details Cannonlake's Advanced 10nm FinFET Node, Claims Full Generation Lead Over Rivals".
  22. ^ "International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors 2.0 2015 Edition Executive Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  23. ^ "14nm 16nm 10nm and 7nm - What we know now".
  24. ^ "Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 First to 10 nm". Samsung 10LPE process
  25. ^ "10 nm lithography process". wikichip.
  26. ^ Samsung 10nm-class LPDDR4X

Preceded by
14 nm
CMOS manufacturing processes Succeeded by
7 nm