Intel revealed detailed process and packaging technology roadmaps, showcasing a series of innovations that it says will power products through 2025 and beyond. In addition to announcing RibbonFET, its new transistor architecture in more than a decade, and PowerVia, new backside power delivery method, the company highlighted its swift adoption of next-generation extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), referred to as High Numerical Aperture (High NA) EUV.
“Building on Intel’s unquestioned leadership in advanced packaging, we are accelerating our innovation roadmap to ensure we are on a clear path to process performance leadership by 2025,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said during the global “Intel Accelerated” webcast. “We are leveraging our unparalleled pipeline of innovation to deliver technology advances from the transistor up to the system level. Until the periodic table is exhausted, we will be relentless in our pursuit of Moore’s Law and our path to innovate with the magic of silicon.”
Intel has introduced a new naming structure for its process nodes. It will no longer use the nanometer-based node naming scheme that it has been using for years. As per the company, this new new naming scheme is more important with the launch of Intel Foundry Services. “The innovations unveiled today will not only enable Intel’s product roadmap; they will also be critical for our foundry customers,” Gelsinger said. “The interest in IFS has been strong and I’m thrilled that today we announced our first two major customers. IFS is off to the races!”
Intel technologists described the following roadmap with the new node names:
Intel 7 claims to deliver an approximately 10% to 15% performance-per-watt increase versus Intel 10nm SuperFin, based on FinFET transistor optimizations. Intel 7 will be featured in products such as Alder Lake for clients in 2021 and Sapphire Rapids for the data center, which is expected to be in production in the first quarter of 2022.
Intel 4 adopts EUV lithography to print small features using ultra-short wavelength light. Intel 4 will be ready for production in the second half of 2022 for products shipping in 2023, including Meteor Lake for client and Granite Rapids for the data center.
Intel 3 leverages further FinFET optimizations and increased EUV to deliver an approximately 18% performance-per-watt increase over Intel 4, as per the company. Intel 3 will be ready to begin manufacturing products in the second half of 2023.
Intel 20A ushers in the angstrom era with two technologies, RibbonFET and PowerVia. RibbonFET, Intel’s implementation of a gate-all-around transistor, will be the company’s first new transistor architecture since FinFET in 2011. PowerVia is Intel’s implementation of backside power delivery, optimizing signal transmission by eliminating the need for power routing on the front side of the wafer. Intel 20A is expected to ramp in 2024. The company has also partnered with Qualcomm using its Intel 20A process technology.
With Intel’s new IDM 2.0 strategy, packaging is becoming even more important to realizing the benefits of Moore’s Law. Intel announced that AWS will be the first customer to use IFS packaging solutions.