The chase for newer manufacturing technologies continues and Common Platform has started to discuss its 14 nanometer technology in the open. What we see is that industry will cross over to 3D transistors, and SOI could become the new industry standard.
Common Platform is a joint venture between IBM, Samsung and GlobalFoundries that works for new manufacturing technologies and to improve the ones we already have. A common platform also means that customers can switch between fabs without having to redesign the chip. They have now discussed the future and what shall come after 20 nanometer.
At 14 nanometer two new technologies will be used. The first is the so called 3D transistors, or more correct FinFET, something Intel introduced with its 22 nanometer technology. They will combine this technology with FD-SOI (Fully Depleted Silicon-on-Insulator), for even lower leakage and better transistor density. This will be a great challenge to Common Platform, since it will start using FinFET and the quite difficult SOI on a whole new process. SOI often result in poor yields initially, since the pressure applied to a wafer can crush the transistors. But FD-SOI will be easier to implement than current PD-SOI (Partially Depleted Silicon-on-Insulator) in terms of yields, since FD-SOI doesn’t need the same amount of pressure as PD-SOI.
At the same time it will start using stacking with this process. This is another great challenge, but then after the manufacturing of the chip, since each chip has to be validate and individually tested before they can be stacked. Common Platform is expected to introduce its 14 nanometer technology to customers in 2014/2015, and we would not expect much of it in the first year.