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Hardware IBM and GlobalFoundries go Gate-Last for 20nm

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 20 Jan 2011.

  1. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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  2. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    What does this mean in English?
     
  3. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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    I've added a couple of paragraphs to the beginning to try to clarify this - gate-last or gate-first basically refers to the point when you put the metal gate onto the production wafer.
     
  4. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    Hafnium? Did you just make that word up? is it like unobtainium used in that dances with smurf's filck by James Cameron?
     
  5. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Sorry I get ahead of myself sometimes :blush:

    The 'Gate' is the transistor gates (NFET and PFET iirc). First vs Last means do you do the transistors before other chemical techniques, or after. Gate First is cheaper because it's quicker, but it causes yield and performance issues as the chemicals that get flushed over it on subsequent treatments also errode those nice transistors you've just put down. Gate Last is more costly and difficult as the transistor gate goes down AFTER most/all the treatments, not to mention giving more freedom for the choice of materials used on later PFET (again iirc), which ultimately rewards better yields and performance. For evidence of that look how well Intel's 45nm and 32nm hardware overclocks!

    Intel's advantage is that it's costs are lower because it does everything itself, so it can optimise a longer process. However if you're GloFo or TSMC, you have to absorb the cost or your customers product probably becomes less or uncompetitive. It's particularly a problem for AMD, who has to compete with Intel, and usually does so on price.
     
  6. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafnium
     
  7. Kúsař

    Kúsař regular bit-tech reader

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    It might not be such an advantage if you think about it. GloFo is agressively expanding to compete with TSMC as they definitely plan to manufacture more than AMD's CPUs. Once they've got new fabs running their "playground" and cashflow will be definitely bigger than Intel's(speaking about manufacturing:)), unless Intel open it's fabs for others. nVidia, "ATi" or ARM will definitely try to take advantage of multiple manufacturers and this will in turn drive manufacturing/technology processes forward.
     
  8. Enzo Matrix

    Enzo Matrix New Member

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    So will AMD's new 32nm products be produced using gate-first or gate-last? This wasn't made clear as the first paragraph indicates they will use the gate-first while the second to last paragraph hints they will use gate-last.
     
  9. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    32nm will be Gate First. 22/20 will be Gate Last
     
  10. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    Don't underestimate just how big Intel is...
    Before GloFo split off, AMD was about 1/10th of Intel...that's a lot of room to pick up.
    That's the downside of the GloFo Spinoff, AMD used to have this as well (though on a much smaller scale. Dresden beeing effectively it's only CPU-plant.
    Suppose it still is as far as high-end devices are concerned. Then again, I don't know how deep the AMD/GloFo split really goes. I guess they still optimise everything in Dresden for AMD's process.
     
  11. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    Thanks mate, I was only having a quick stab at humour.
     
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