Numerous sources are reporting that IBM's recent $3 billion investment in new chipmaking technologies and collaboration with the State University of New York in Albany, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung Electronics Co. is beginning to bear fruit. IBM has developed chips with functional transistors using a 7 nanometer process technology.
In particular, silicon-germanium (SiGe) has been incorporated into FinFET transistors, the fins of which are stacked at a pitch of less than 30nm, compared to a 42nm pitch for Intel's 14nm Broadwell chips. Long delayed extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography from ASML was used to etch the features. Although ASML's EUV tools are still slower and more expensive than conventional lithography, Michael Liehr, the executive vice president for innovation and technology at the SUNY Poly research center, predicted that ASML would improve EUV over the next four to six years, before 7nm chips are set to reach the market. More aggressive estimates put the introduction of 7nm chips around 2017-2018.
Ars Technica has a story on this topic with more technical background.
(Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10 2015, @03:06AM
I wonder how this fits into the "strategy" of IBM's C-levels to sell off everything IBM makes to boost short-term profit. As in, I wonder if IBM just becomes a patent troll on this technology.