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Intel, Samsung, Toshiba Team For 10nm Chips

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 51 comments

These three big guns are working on tiny chips.

We love smaller chips. With every advancement in manufacturing process we get more speed for less power.

Intel, Samsung and Toshiba are banding together to tackle the big task of getting chips down to a 10nm semiconductor line width.

Such a task, would be huge for one company alone, and even the trio will be inviting more to the team to help. The three companies will form a consortium and will invite about 10 more companies into the group.

Japan will be helping out too, with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expected to provide around 5 billion yen ($61.21 million) of the roughly 10 billion yen in initial funds for the R&D efforts, according to Reuters.

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  • 18 Hide
    IMAC , November 2, 2010 9:26 PM
    One thing is for sure AMD is out of their list. :(  Well hope AMD forms it´s own alliance and both race for the 10nm goal.
  • 17 Hide
    lauxenburg , November 2, 2010 9:15 PM
    H0LY BALLS. That's small. That's like half the size of a virus.
  • 14 Hide
    ALANMAN , November 2, 2010 9:13 PM
    Awesome, can't wait!
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    ALANMAN , November 2, 2010 9:13 PM
    Awesome, can't wait!
  • 9 Hide
    Haserath , November 2, 2010 9:14 PM
    We've gotten to the point that companies have to start working together to make the transistors smaller. That must mean we're at the point that it is getting close to the end for the transistor to get smaller, but maybe they'll come up with a breakthrough that will keep us going for some years to come.
  • 17 Hide
    lauxenburg , November 2, 2010 9:15 PM
    H0LY BALLS. That's small. That's like half the size of a virus.
  • 5 Hide
    lauxenburg , November 2, 2010 9:18 PM
    HaserathWe've gotten to the point that companies have to start working together to make the transistors smaller. That must mean we're at the point that it is getting close to the end for the transistor to get smaller, but maybe they'll come up with a breakthrough that will keep us going for some years to come.


    Honestly we felt the same way like 10 years ago. There were a lot of boundaries we thought we'd run into but we got past them. However, it's true that every few years we can't just expect a 10-15nm change. Advancing to a new manufacturing tech will take much longer unless we figure out some other way to do things, like you said.
  • 1 Hide
    Albyint , November 2, 2010 9:24 PM
    It would be interesting to see a breakthrough that goes past transistor size, something akin plastic magnets and such. But 10nm is a good start lol.
  • 18 Hide
    IMAC , November 2, 2010 9:26 PM
    One thing is for sure AMD is out of their list. :(  Well hope AMD forms it´s own alliance and both race for the 10nm goal.
  • -8 Hide
    g00ey , November 2, 2010 9:33 PM
    Well, I can't wait till we get picometer circuits...
  • 9 Hide
    the_krasno , November 2, 2010 9:37 PM
    That is close to the barrier where quantum physics screw with how a transistor works.

    Which means that at this point it will be more productive to work on a viable quantum chip.

    Just saying...
  • 4 Hide
    bison88 , November 2, 2010 9:47 PM
    Aren't they going to have to start looking for another way? I mean they've been talking about it for years. The escalating costs cannot be manageable in the future. Eventually there is going to be a tap out of microprocessors and chip shrinkage unless those big guys are holding onto some secret advancements that are game changing to try and milk what exists now. I have my doubt personally, but I fear another equivalence of a Gigahertz dustbowl is imminent.
  • 3 Hide
    lauxenburg , November 2, 2010 9:48 PM
    g00eyWell, I can't wait till we get picometer circuits...


    Highly unlikely. There will be different technologies aside from simply making the transistors smaller.
  • -1 Hide
    TomTomz , November 2, 2010 10:09 PM
    IMACOne thing is for sure AMD is out of their list. Well hope AMD forms it´s own alliance and both race for the 10nm goal.

    Then one of them will build GlaDOS to speed up production, and you know where they leads.
  • 4 Hide
    jimmysmitty , November 2, 2010 10:18 PM
    IMACOne thing is for sure AMD is out of their list. Well hope AMD forms it´s own alliance and both race for the 10nm goal.


    Thats is probably because AMD no longer has any FABs nor do they put any funds towards R&D of process tech. All their R&D goes to the arch and they have GF who will probably work closley with IBM for process tech.

    As for the first there, it will no doubt be Intel and its consortium. Intel already has working 22nm so now they will just work on enhancing the process tech and ramping it out. So R&D will focus on 10nm.

    GF and IBM are still pushing on 32nm.

    Still it will be interesting to see if they find something new to push past the 10nm barrier or maybe a new material that will drop silicon all together.
  • -8 Hide
    drutort , November 2, 2010 10:18 PM
    the transistor size to me is the same as the Ghz race... I think pretty soon companies will have to start to be more conservative with there designs and design new things in a smart approach and not hoping that oh well we can just thrown in x amount of transistors and it will work, now they will have to work harder and smarter.

    Remember the Ghz race? same thing with the multi cores... you can just keep throwing more and more cores at the cpu's pretty soon new real tech is going to be the major roll player in making things faster and less power.

    going smaller is only one way of saving power :p 
  • 4 Hide
    beckstrom12 , November 2, 2010 10:33 PM
    jimmysmittyThats is probably because AMD no longer has any FABs nor do they put any funds towards R&D of process tech. All their R&D goes to the arch and they have GF who will probably work closley with IBM for process tech.As for the first there, it will no doubt be Intel and its consortium. Intel already has working 22nm so now they will just work on enhancing the process tech and ramping it out. So R&D will focus on 10nm. GF and IBM are still pushing on 32nm.Still it will be interesting to see if they find something new to push past the 10nm barrier or maybe a new material that will drop silicon all together.


    They do its called graphene look it up :) 
  • 11 Hide
    ikefu , November 2, 2010 10:33 PM
    At 22nm a transistor is only about 200 atoms wide. Therefore 10nm would be only about 91 atoms across.

    Much smaller and you start to lose structural integrity and run into other quantum road blocks. I think the next major push (which is already starting) is efficiency. How many instructions per clock cycle can you push with the same die size?
  • -9 Hide
    Pyroflea , November 2, 2010 11:17 PM
    And soon, we'll approach the pm scale :D 
  • 7 Hide
    ares1214 , November 2, 2010 11:18 PM
    This is big, actually quite small, but would be a massive accomplishment. Just getting 3 major companies in the same room is a pretty sizable achievement in its own right! :lol:  But this is about as small as silicon will let them go. Innovation time!
  • 3 Hide
    saturnus , November 2, 2010 11:20 PM
    What has been said above about 10nm being close to the limit is true. The actual limit is around 8nm whereafter quantum physics makes it impossible to shrink current technology any further. So it really comes as no surprise that it takes basically all the industry giant to get to 10nm. I wouldn't be surprised if Intel even asked AMD to join because there's some AMD/IBM patents that they need for it to succeed at all.

    Luckily, we don't have to shrink current technology any further, we just have to shift technology to memristors and layered metal diodes instead. All emergenging technologies coming out in the next couple of years.

    Going to 10nm is in my opinion just as a big of a goal as Intels previous 10 GHz goal. It's just not economically viable or physically possible in the foreseeable future (the next 10-25 years).
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