Intel Corp. indicated at A.G. Edwards computer/microprocessor
technology conference that transistor miniaturization is expected to
proceed further and currently the company is on track to start making
central processing units (CPUs) using 32nm process technology starting
from 2009. It is not the first time when Intel reaffirms its
clients and investors that it is able to start 32nm production in 2009.
Due to very thin structures of transistors in case of 32nm process
technology, special – extreme ultraviolet lithography – tools are
needed for appropriate production. The main idea of extreme ultraviolet
lithography is ability to "draw" substantially finer circuits on wafers
when making chips than it is possible today.
Development of such manufacturing tools is a very complex process that may slowdown deployment adoption of the new fabrication process. In early 2004
Intel provided Cymer, a leading supplier of deep ultraviolet light
sources used in semiconductor manufacturing, $20 million in funding
over the following three years to accelerate development of
production-worthy extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography light sources.
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News source: Xbit Labs