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Striving to Reach 7nm and 5nm Chips

While semiconductor industry producers are fairly confident that they can scale chips to 10nm, they are less so when it comes to 7nm and 5nm chips. With 10nm, the scaling process is relatively simple and straightforward. When the industry tries to move to 7nm and 5nm, however, the process becomes much more complicated and expensive. Chips in this range require completely new transistor architectures, channel materials and interconnects as well as new fab tools that are still in the production phase.

Although it is quite challenging, semiconductor manufacturing experts would like to stress that it is still possible to reach 7nm and 5nm. As such, the semiconductor industry is pouring resources into research and development departments to find new technologies that are cost effective, scalable and fit for production purposes. Chipmakers of various companies are collaborating like never before in the hopes that teamwork will help them in discovering technologies that meet the aforementioned criteria in a timelier manner. Currently, semiconductor manufacturing experts predict that 7nm will be released in the year 2018.

With the research completed thus far, one of the leading choices for 7nm and 5nm is finFET with III-V materials in the channels. The two III-V channel materials the industry is currently considering are PFET and NFET. With PFET, there is an 80 percent composition of germanium. With NFET, there is a 0 to 25 percent germanium composition with strain relaxed buffers.

While this technology is promising, it isn’t without its problems. The main problem with this technology is the narrow bandgap of the materials, which creates significant problems for low-leakage transistors. As such, many semiconductor industry experts believe that this technology could be delayed for 7nm, instead being pushed to 5nm. For this reason, semiconductor manufacturing businesses, such as vinyl resin suppliers, are weighing other options, including gate-all-around, quantum well finFET and SOI finFET. Vertical nanowires are also an option being explored.

Shin-Etsu MicroSi, a leading semiconductor manufacturing producer and supplier, will continue to contribute and monitor all developments made to technology in chips to ensure that our customers stay ahead of the competition. As a top semiconductor industry supplier, we provide a long list of technologically advanced supplies and materials, which include packaging, photomasks, PBN materials, quartz glass wafers and resins. To learn more about high quality semiconductor manufacturing products for your operation, call Shin-Etsu MicroSi (480) 893-8898 or contact us online.