Process Technology Cross Comparison Update
Table 1 below is an updated version of our Process Technology Cross Comparison. It shows process technologies from many of the major logic and DRAM manufacturers.
Astute readers will note that in the section on Intel’s 45 nm process technology, we placed the phrase “on paper” into the sentence that pointed to the absolute statistical dominance of Intel’s 45 nm process technology. The reason for the presence of the phrase is that while it is true that, as described, Intel’s 45 nm process will have cost, speed, and power advantages (possibly with a slight deficit in circuit size, as evidenced by the larger SRAM cell size) over that of other semiconductor manufacturers, this statistical dominance of Intel’s 45 nm process technology will be meaningless unless Intel’s fabs can execute and ramp the 45 nm process node to plan. In particular, Intel’s choices of going with metal gate-electrodes and hafnium-based gate-dielectrics, but without immersion lithography at the 45 nm node enabled it to present a process that has higher performance and a lower cost basis than processes at the 45 nm node from those of its competitors. At the same time, these unique choices may also introduce some risk factor into a successful ramp of the 45 nm node. Only time will tell if these aggressive choices will enable Intel to upgrade to a larger steamroller, or merely keep the one that it already has.