Samsung launches 20nm technology
The South Korea electronics giant is now part of an elite roster of chip vendors exploring the 20nm technology. Intel, Globalfoundries and TSMC are among the companies on that list.
Reportedly geared for logic and foundry applications, Samsung's 20nm process features a bulk CMOS technology, 12 metal layers, copper interconnects, ultra low-k, stressors and a high-k/metal-gate scheme.
At 32- and 28nm, Samsung plans to roll out a gate-first, high-k technology. But at 20nm, the company will use rival gate-last technology.
The company will continue to push 193nm immersion to 20nm―with the help of source-mask optimization, double patterning and other tricks.
During a presentation, D.K. Sohn, vice president of the R&D Center at Samsung, said the company's 20nm process is 30 percent faster than its 28nm low-power process.
Samsung's first 20nm technology will be a low-power process. The bulk CMOS, 1.8/1.5-volt process features a dual-gate oxide technology, thin and thick dielectics and other features.
Samsung will offer process design kits next month. Risk production is slated for the second half of 2012, with early production due in the first quarter of 2013.
- Mark LaPedus
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