ZDNet reports: At IEDM Globalfoundries presented details of its 7nm process which promises a significant increase in density, performance and efficiency in comparison to the 14nm technology used to manufacture AMD processors, IBM Power server chips and other products. GlobalFoundries will start 7nm production using current lithography tools, though it plans to quickly move to next-generation EUV lithography to cut costs
Based on GlobalFoundries latest generation of 3D or FinFET transistors, the 7LP process has a fin pitch (the distance between the conducting channels) of 30nm, gate pitch of 56nm and a minimum metal pitch of 40nm--all of which are "significantly scaled from 14nm." GlobalFoundries said it tuned the fin shape and profile for best performance, but did not provide measurements for the width or height of the fins. The smallest high-density SRAM cell measures 0.0269 square microns.
Like Intel, GlobalFoundries will use self-aligned quad patterning (SAQP) to fabricate the fins, as well as double-patterning for metal layers, and has introduced cobalt metal contacts to reduce resistance.