Processes with 14 nm and transistors FinFET are considered quite expensive solutions for mass use. At the same time, 14-nm FinFET semiconductors favorably differ in their characteristics from chips with planar transistors made with technological standards of 28 nm. This again forces us to seek the golden mean. From the point of view of GlobalFoundries and Samsung, a cost-effective alternative to the 14 nm FinFET process technology will be a 22-nm planar process technology on FD-SOI plates from a fully depleted insulating layer.
So, according to the plans of GlobalFoundries, the chips using the 22FDX process technology will be manufactured in China in 2019 and in Germany at the company’s plant in Dresden. Considering how hard the new 10-nm process technology is being introduced, the 20-nm process technology still has to live and live. This brings Intel to the idea that to develop the direction for contract manufacturing of chips, which the company brought back to life about five years ago, it will need to offer some decent alternative to the technical process on FD-SOI plates. Such a process, as reported in Intel, will be a simplified 22-nm process using FinFET transistors.
The company has developed two versions of Intel 22FFL process technology: a productive one that will only slightly yield to the 14-nm FinFET process technology, and an energy-efficient one, with a 100-fold decrease in leakage currents compared to the usual 22-nm Intel FinFET process technology. Unfortunately, the company refused to compare the technical process Intel 22FFL and the technical process GlobalFoundries 22FDX. Also, the Intel 22FFL process technology will compete with the 28 nm planar process technology, which has not lost its appeal in the productive solutions for years.
Compared to the 22 FinFET, the Intel 22FFL process technology uses a slightly larger topology, which will affect the density of the transistors, but it will be easier and cheaper in terms of production. For example, the metallization step was increased from 80 to 90 nm, which allowed using only one photomask for lithographic projection instead of two, as before. Also in the production process Intel 22FFL the gate step is increased from 90 to 108 nm. We add that the edge step is 45 nm, and the SRAM cell will receive an area of 0.088 μm2. A total of 18.8 million transistors can be accommodated on one square millimeter of the crystal in the 22FFL process technology.
According to company, Intel 22FFL process technology will significantly strengthen the contract production of the company. With the help of simplified technical process it will be possible to produce network processors and solutions for things with Internet connection. Small leakage currents will be very useful in devices with a long waiting time and a short period of active operation.