Added: January 18, 2008
The 45 nanometer (45 nm) process is the next milestone (commercially viable as of November 2007) in semiconductor fabrication. Intel started mass producing 45 nm chips in November 2007, AMD is targeting 45 nm production in 2008, while IBM, Infineon, Samsung, and Chartered Semiconductor have already completed a common 45 nm process platform. By the end of 2008, SMIC will be the first China-based semiconductor company to move to 45 nm, having licensed the bulk 45 nm process from IBM.
At IEDM 2007, more technical details of Intel’s 45 nm process were revealed: * 160 nm gate pitch (73% of 65 nm generation) * 35 nm gate length (same as 65 nm generation) * 1 nm equivalent oxide thickness, with 7 Å transition layer * gate-last process using dummy polysilicon * 9 layers of low-k Cu interconnect, the last being a thick “redistribution” layer * contacts shaped more like rectangles than circles for local interconnection * lead-free packaging * 1.36 mA/um nFET drive current * 1.07 mA/um pFET drive current, 51% faster than 65 nm generation, with higher hole mobility due to increase from 23% to 30% Ge in embedded SiGe stressors
Intel’s 45nm processor website: