IBM and Intel announced their latest 22nm technologies in papers at the International Electron Devices Meeting yesterday. EE Times said that a top Intel fab executive commented on ‘increasing wafer costs and the companies foundry business’.
The Intel paper showed support for “high drive current across the spectrum of leakage and a full suite of SoC tools” according to an interview with Mark Bohr, head of Intel’s technology development group. Intel said their process is designed for a wider range of designs than IBM’s.
IBM are prototyping server processors in a new 3D ready, 22nm process technology which they hope will deliver a boost of 25 to 35 percent over their 32nm designs. Intel already have some 22nm chips in volume production.
Intels’ Bohr said that Intel’s 22nm FinFET process is cost effective, which contradicts a report claiming that it is 30 to 40 percent more expensive than TSMC’s 28nm planar process. Intel report that FinFET only adds 3 percent to the cost of the process.
Bohr said “Cost per wafer has always gone up marginally each generation, somewhat more so in recent generations, but that’s more than offset by increases in transistor density so that the cost per transistor continues to go down at 14 nm.”
EEtimes added “Separately, Bohr said Intel does have a growing foundry business that may include some higher volume applications than its current announced customers like FPGA startup Achronix. However, “we don’t intend to be in the general-purpose foundry business…[and] I don’t think the [foundry] volumes ever will be huge” for Intel, he said.
Kitguru says: It will be interesting to see how this develops