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Samsung Reaches Milestone For 14nm Technology 123

An anonymous reader writes "Samsung announced a milestone on its development of 14nm manufacturing semiconductors, claiming that it offers major advantages to system-on-chip devices using in consumer electronic products (especially lower power). They recently taped out a Cortex-A7 processor with this technology, calling it a significant milestone for the fabless ecosystem."
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Samsung Reaches Milestone For 14nm Technology

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  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @06:52PM (#42377697)

    "Tape out" is in my dad's generation they used the same tech for photolithography for both PCBs and ICs. In other words a "Draftsman" (which is kind of like a CAD operator, but manual, done by hand) using what looks like black electrical tape stripes on clear mylar sheets. Then a projector blasts UV light thru the marked up sheet onto a photosensitive copper circuit board, or silicon slice, and where the UV hits the plastic polymerizes and is "permanent" and where it doesn't, it washes away. Sorta like a photo negative enlarger but more of a shrinker than an enlarger... which is another mostly dead technology. You'll meet people who rewrite history for laughs who claim the "tape" is magnetic tape of cad drafting or maybe Verilog/VHDL. In the "biz" it means the dev team has ended work and the responsibility is now entirely on the production team (assuming it achieves production level success on the first try, without any design issues ruining yield, LOL)

    "Fabless ecosystem" is fru fru talk for you outsource your manufacturing to a company (usually a competitor) you trust to give you reliable access to their best processes, while trusting them not to "pirate" your IP which is your companies only resource. Its a great idea for weird stuff where you can corner the market or R+D or teaching. Strikes me as an idiotic business model for competitive "mainstream" processors or generic commodity chips.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson