7 nanometer

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In semiconductor manufacturing, the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors defines the 7 nanometer (7 nm) node as the technology node following the 10 nm node.

Single transistor 7 nm scale devices were first produced in the early 2000s – as of 2017 commercial production of 7 nm chips is at a development stage.

History[edit]

Technology demos[edit]

In July 2015, IBM announced that they had built the first functional transistors with 7 nm technology, using a silicon-germanium process.[1][2]

By early 2017, TSMC had produced 256Mbit SRAM cells at their 7nm process with a cell area of 0.027µm2 with reasonable risk production yields.[3]

Expected commercialisation and technologies[edit]

Although Intel has not yet divulged any certain plans to manufacturers or retailers, it has already stated that it would no longer use silicon at this node.[4] A possible replacement material for silicon would be indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) or graphene.[5]

In April 2016, TSMC announced that 7 nm trial production would begin in the first half of 2017.[6] In March 2017, TSMC announced 7 nm risk production starting by June 2018.[7] TSMC's 7nm production plans, as of early 2017, are to use EUV or immersion lithography initially on this process node, and transition from risk to commercial volume manufacturing from Q2 2017 to Q2 2018. Also, their later generation 7nm production is planned to use EUV multiple patterning and to have an estimated transition from risk to volume manufacturing between 2018 and 2019.[8]

In September 2016, GlobalFoundries announced trial production in the second half of 2017 and risk production in early 2018, with test chips already running.[9]

In February 2017, Intel announced Fab 42 in Arizona will produce microprocessors using 7 nm manufacturing process.[10]

7 nm process nodes[edit]

The naming of process nodes by different major manufacturers (TSMC, Intel, Samsung, GloFo) is partially marketing driven and not directly related to any measurable distance on a chip - for example TSMC's 7nm node is similar in some key dimensions to Intel's 10nm node. Nevertheless, as of 2017, the technological race to the greatest density was still competitive between the main players, with TSMC, Samsung, and Intel all holding leading positions between the years 2016 and 2017 when measured by the smallest feature size on chip.[11]

ITRS Logic Device

Ground Rules

Samsung

(proposed)

TSMC

(proposed)

GlobalFoundries

(proposed)

Process name 8/7nm 8nm 7nm 7nm
Transistor Gate Pitch (nm) 42 54 54 56
Interconnect Pitch (nm) 24 36 40 40

Lower numbers are better. Transistor gate pitch is also referred to as CPP (contacted poly pitch) and interconnect pitch is also referred to as MMP (minimum metal pitch). [12][13]

References[edit]


Preceded by
10 nm
CMOS manufacturing processes Succeeded by
5 nm