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IBM and Partners Develop 7nm Process Chips

Accepted submission by takyon at 2015-07-09 05:16:45

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 7nm 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 before 2020, when 7nm chips are set to reach the market.

[IBM itself will announce this news later in the day.]

Original Submission