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AMD First to 22 Nm, Challenges Intel

Yorktown Heights (NY) - IBM and its chip development partners, including AMD, made a stunning announcement today, apparently beating Intel in the successful production of the first functional 22 nm SRAM cell. 22 nm processors are still three years out in the future, but IBM’s news is a good sign that chip manufacturer will be able to easily scale to this new level by the end of 2011. It appears that, for the first time in several decades, Intel may have to put some extra time into its research and development efforts to make sure it can keep its manufacturing lead at 22 nm and beyond.

SRAM chips are typically the first semiconductor devices to test a new manufacturing process as a precursor to actual microprocessors. The devices developed and manufactured by AMD, Freescale, IBM STMicroelectronics, Toshiba and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) were built in a traditional six-transistor design on a 300 mm wafer and had a memory cell size of just 0.1 μm2, which compares to Intel’s 45 nm SRAM cell size (the test chip that was used for today’s 45 nm processors) of 0.346 μm2.

A 22 nm chip is two generations out in the future and AMD even has to catch up with Intel’s 45 nm. Intel presented the first 32 nm SRAM cell wafer in September of last year and in fact is not expected to show 22 nm SRAM cells for at least another year, while first 32 nm CPU prototypes could be shown at IDF this week.

IBM said that it is on track with its 32 nm process and promises that it will use a "leading 32 nm high-K metal gate technology that no other company or consortium can match." IBM did not provide further details to substantiate this claim, however, Intel has been using its high-K metal gate technology since the introduction of the 45 nm Penryn processors in late 2007.

While we are far from actual 22 nm and 32 nm products, it is clear that IBM and its partners are turning up the heat on Intel. For the first time in decades, there could actually be an interesting race towards a new production node.

  • physx7
    Cool nice article..
    Reply
  • spanner_razor
    Major failure in the thread title, should be IBM not AMD reaches 22nm.
    Reply
  • AMD needs to join up with IBM.
    Reply
  • jaragon13
    spanner_razorMajor failure in the thread title, should be IBM not AMD reaches 22nm.bobsmith1AMD needs to join up with IBM.Lol,you guys are totally ignorant of the fact AMD works with IBM...
    Reply
  • IBM is king

    my dad works there :P
    Reply
  • IBM and AMD made a deal ages ago for the production of 22nm chips, so this is the culmination of it. They made the achievement together.
    Reply
  • frozenlead
    I wonder what the overclocking margins on such a small chip will be...
    Reply
  • jaragon13
    frozenleadI wonder what the overclocking margins on such a small chip will be...depends on how good the actual process is...

    I myself don't overclock,don't need more waste heat on my other parts
    Reply
  • pogsnet
    They should create 22nm processor next year ^_^
    Reply
  • horendus
    Im just wondering what kinda of clock speed increase can be expected from 22nm because we have seen very little average clock speed increases over the past 3 or 4 manurfacturing gereration (90-65-45) (although clock speed certainly is not everything when it comes to performance)

    I guess this is the kinda manufacturing size that would be weel suited for the CPU/GPU intergrations that are on the horizons...


    and..a few years down the track....
    ...maybe once CPU/GPU intergration kicks off, Physx(pun intended) will be once again sent back to the CPU for calculating allowing for single Vcard setups to make a comeback....
    Reply