Saturday January 28, 2017

Intel Pursues Moore's Law With Plan To Make 7-Nm Chips This Year

It will still be quite a while until we can get our hands on this technology, but Intel is setting up a pilot plant as early as this year to test and iron out the kinks in manufacturing 7-nm chips. These chips, which will follow the 10-nm process, are expected to comprise exotic materials, which will allow them to be significantly smaller and more power efficient.

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Intel is looking at the 7-nm process to alleviate some of the challenges it faces on the 14-nm and 10-nm processors. The company has hinted it would introduce EUV (extreme ultraviolet) tools in the manufacturing process. EUV will help etch finer features on chips, but its implementation has been delayed multiple times. The pilot factory will help validate all those features, and then allow Intel to order equipment for the new factories, McCarron said. Competitors like Globalfoundries and Samsung are getting a head-start on the 7-nm process. Globalfoundries has said it will start making 7-nm chips by 2018, and ARM has released tools for the design of 7-nm chips.

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