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Intel to go revolutionary

26 April 2011 | By Mark Osborne | Editor's Blog

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A technology revolution rather than a political revolution is in the wings at Intel and should be made public around the time of its analyst event in early May. Paul Otellini noted in Intel’s recent quarterly conference call that when we see the anticipated announcement we would all understand why the phrase ‘revolutionary’ would be appropriate.

The classic problem in any aspect of the semiconductor industry is that using revolution to describe a new product is as overdone as most food cooked at a barbecue.

However, for what its worth it shouldn’t be an IC device Intel will announce but the use of a completely different piece of process equipment that has never before been used in volume manufacturing.

Otellini’s revolutionary comments were on the back of announcing they would increase capital spending in 2011 by a further US$1.0 billion. Much of that added spending would directed at the 14nm node though some would be allocated to ramp at the 22nm node that bit bigger as demand was proving extremely strong for its latest MPU’s.

Executives noted that although its 2-year node migrations hadn’t shortened it would the pace of new node ramps that would happen more quickly, giving Intel more bang for the CapEx buck over time.

Many should know that EUV lithography has a small window of opportunity to enter volume production at the 14nm node with Intel. Production tools would need to be working at Intel’s recently announced new (huge) development fab a year before volume production starts and at this point in time that could actually happen.

My bet is that the revolution Intel is going to announce is the move to EUV for the 14nm node ramp.

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