Rick Merritt, SiliconValley Bureau Chief
4/10/2017 11:40 AM EDT
Amid an unprecedented proliferation of process nodes, the industry needs good public benchmarks to compare semiconductor process technologies.
For some time now, foundries have named their latest process nodes based on their desired market positioning more than any transparent benchmark. It’s time the shenanigans stop.
Intel recently proposed a simple but somewhat self-serving density metric. The response from rival foundries was a deafening silence. I suspect that Intel has an edge in transistor density, something its competitors don’t want to admit.
Intel deserves praise for its recent decision to reveal metrics such as fin pitches and heights and minimum metal and gate pitches on its 10-nm node, which has not yet started production. These are the kinds of basic details that all foundries should supply when they first announce a new node.
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