process technology

(redirected from 130 nanometers)

process technology

The particular manufacturing method used to make silicon chips, which is measured by how small the transistor is. The driving force behind the design of integrated circuits is miniaturization, and process technology boils down to the never-ending goal of smaller. It means more computing power per square inch, and smallness enables the design of ultra-tiny chips that can be placed almost anywhere.

Feature Size Measured in Nanometers
The size of the features (the elements that make up the structures on a chip) are measured in nanometers. A 22 nm process technology refers to features 22 nm or 0.22 µm in size. Also called a "technology node" and "process node," early chips were measured in micrometers (see table below).

Historically, the feature size referred to the length of the silicon channel between source and drain in field effect transistors (see FET). Today, the feature size is typically the smallest element in the transistor or the size of the gate.

From 1,000 Down to 90
The feature size of the 486 chip in 1989 was 1,000 nm (one micron). By 2003, it was 90 nm, reduced by a little less than one millionth of a meter. What may seem like a minuscule reduction took thousands of man years and billions of dollars worth of R&D. In the table below, note the dramatic reductions in the early years of semiconductors.

Chips Are a Miracle of Miniaturization
To understand how tiny these features are, using 22 nm as an example, four thousand of them laid side-by-side are equal to the cross section of a human hair. See half-node and active area.

Half a Micron Is Huge
In a span of five years, the feature size on these AMD chips was reduced from .8 to .35 microns. Half a micron may seem insignificant, but not in the microminiature world of semiconductor manufacturing. As features get smaller, the chip runs faster and uses less energy to perform the same processing. (Image courtesy of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.)

Semiconductor Feature Sizes(approximate for all vendors)       Nanometers  MicrometersYear     (nm)        (µm)

 1957   120,000      120.0
 1963    30,000       30.0
 1971    10,000       10.0
 1974     6,000        6.0
 1976     3,000        3.0
 1982     1,500        1.5
 1985     1,300        1.3
 1989     1,000        1.0
 1993       600        0.6
 1996       350        0.35
 1998       250        0.25
 1999       180        0.18
 2001       130        0.13
 2003        90        0.09
 2005        65        0.065
 2008        45        0.045
 2010        32        0.032
 2012        22        0.022
 2014        14        0.014
 2017        10        0.010
  ??          7        0.007
  ??          5        0.005

 Method       1        0.001
References in periodicals archive ?
Researchers have created fibers that are a miniscule 130 nanometers wide.
Below 130 nanometers there is cross-coupling all over the chip, and with CoolTime we can readily determine which ones affect performance and target them for corrective action.
Each particle, which the researchers call a nanoshell, measures about 130 nanometers in diameter.
By wrapping albumin around active drug and creating particles of approximately 130 nanometers, Abraxis has found a way to eliminate the need for solvents and deliver higher concentrations of chemotherapy without the solvent-related toxicities compared with solvent-based taxanes.
Today, Intel's Pentium 4 microprocessor contains 55 million transistors, each averaging about 130 nanometers on a side.
Intel's newest chip, the Pentium 4, holds roughly 42 million transistors, with each transistor spanning roughly 130 nanometers (nm).
has production capabilities down to the 130 nanometers (nm) node, making it ideal for Nantero's development work.
The Encounter-based flow has, to date, produced 150 high-end production ASICs at or below 130 nanometers with all first silicon success, out of which about 30 designs were developed at 90 nanometers.
Retiming in Encounter RTL Compiler enabled us to implement our design at 130 nanometers while meeting our timing and area goals.
Below 130 nanometers, precision clock design is critical to control hold time and skew variation over process, and across the entire design simultaneously," said Kun-Cheng Wu, Director of Design Development at Faraday Technology.
We have successfully completed more than 10 tapeouts at 130 nanometers using the Encounter platform, and are currently using it for 90-nanometer tapeouts," said Jim Lai, chief operating officer and president at Global UniChip.
Design planning, placement and analysis are not just a good thing for logic designers to have as feature sizes shrink below 130 nanometers, they are crucial to design closure," said Michael Naum, president and CTO of Silicon Dimensions.