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jmke 4th December 2005 15:24

Intel Reaffirms Intention to Make Chips Using 32nm Process Technology in 2009
Intel Corp. indicated at A.G. Edwards computer/microprocessor technology conference that transistor miniaturization is expected to proceed further and currently the company is on track to start making central processing units (CPUs) using 32nm process technology starting from 2009.

It is not the first time when Intel reaffirms its clients and investors that it is able to start 32nm production in 2009. Due to very thin structures of transistors in case of 32nm process technology, special – extreme ultraviolet lithography – tools are needed for appropriate production. The main idea of extreme ultraviolet lithography is ability to “draw” substantially finer circuits on wafers when making chips than it is possible today.

Development of such manufacturing tools is a very complex process that may slowdown deployment adoption of the new fabrication process.

In early 2004 Intel provided Cymer, a leading supplier of deep ultraviolet light sources used in semiconductor manufacturing, $20 million in funding over the following three years to accelerate development of production-worthy extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography light sources.

EUV lithography is positioned for commercial deployment in 2009, but several issues must be addressed to keep the technology on track. A key issue confronting the commercialization efforts of EUV lithography is the ability to increase source output power to meet the wafer throughput requirements of high volume manufacturing, while minimizing the cost of ownership for EUV lithography tools. Another issue with EUV lithography is requirement for extremely precise mirrors.

Accelerating EUV technology development to enable its successful implementation in high volume manufacturing for the 32nm node in 2009 is a critical mission at Intel, the company has been saying for years now.

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