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IBM 2nm 晶片

Year of writing: 2021
Author: Tony

Related stocks: IBM , Nvidia , TSMC (2330)

IBM releases the world's first 2nm process technology

Process scaling is very important, but more important is performance and yield!

IBM has developed a 2nm process and adopts a surround gate (GAA) technology architecture. The performance is claimed to be 45% higher than that of 7nm. It is expected to be put into mass production in 2024. Today's advanced processes below 20 nanometers use FinFET fin-type field effect transistors. Due to physical limitations, the next 3 nanometers or 2 nanometers are expected to use surround gate (GAA) technology.


TSMC and Samsung, which used to be the leaders in the advanced process field, suddenly surpassed IBM's competitor, the former semiconductor manufacturer, halfway through. IBM expects to mass produce 2nm in 2024. This time is similar to TSMC's 2nm mass production time, which is equal to a head-to-head confrontation with TSMC. But, can it really go so smoothly?


Many people speculate that the technology developed by IBM may authorize Samsung to put it into production; if Samsung is really authorized, it will be able to achieve Samsung's previous goal of overtaking TSMC. I predict that IBM is also very likely to sell this technology to Global Foundries, the world’s top five foundries. Although Global Foundries has previously announced that it will abandon advanced manufacturing processes, IBM has sold its foundry department in the past. To GlobalFoundries, so it is also one of the potential buyers.

IBM 2nm 晶片

Process scaling is certainly important, but looking back at the past few famous semiconductor battles, it can be found that the quality of IC is not only process scaling, but also actual performance and yield.


At the beginning of 2021, news of Qualcomm's S888 rollover spread throughout the technology circle. S888 is the latest 5G flagship SoC released by Qualcomm in 2021, using Samsung 5nm technology; however, after actual testing, the running score is indeed slightly better than the previous generation produced by TSMC in early 2020. The S865 5G flagship SoC with 7nm process technology, but the power consumption of S888 is much higher than that of S865, which causes the temperature to rise easily. Under normal circumstances, process scaling will reduce power consumption or improve performance. Obviously, Samsung’s 5nm process does not effectively reduce chip power consumption compared to TSMC’s 7nm process, and the performance improvement does not meet expectations. . Therefore, the performance of actual mass production is more important when paying attention to process miniaturization.


From technology development to mass production, there are many hurdles to go through. IBM used to release a 7nm process in 2015, but it didn't actually mass produce it until 2020. After technology research and development, the technology needs to be introduced into the factory and undergoes risky trial production. After the yield rate has increased, it can be officially put into production. The initial yield rate has risen from 40% to about 90%. Due to the significant increase in process complexity in the advanced manufacturing process, the initial yield is not high. It requires a large amount of production experience to accumulate experience in order to have the opportunity to accelerate the learning curve. This time Nvidia's RTX 30 Series is out of stock. Some people point their finger at Samsung, which is responsible for foundry. They believe that Samsung's 8nm technology yield rate is not high, coupled with the outbreak of market demand, this time the major shortage has occurred. Samsung used to have a slow learning curve, resulting in lower yields. Therefore, IC design companies also consider yields when choosing foundries to avoid out-of-stock risks.


IBM's research and development of this technology is very important to the foundry nano process. In the future, we can continue to pay attention to which foundry will buy the technology; but while focusing on the process miniaturization, we cannot ignore the importance of performance and yield. , Without mass-production technology, it is difficult to achieve commercial profit.

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