45nm production to start in September at TSMC
Taiwanese foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has posted an update regarding its progress on 45nm process technology. The foundry says it will have completed 45nm technology qualification and kicked off production of 45nm wafers "as early as September 2007." TSMC's process combines 193nm immersion photolithography, performance-enhancing silicon strains, and extreme low-k inter-metal dielectric material. The foundry boasts that final products based on its high-performance 45nm process are expected to have double the density and more than 30% higher performance than products based on its 65nm process, all with the same leakage power.
According to Fabtech, TSMC used to lag behind major chip makers like Intel by about 12 months, but it has "significantly closed the gap." Intel expects to have 45nm chips out the door by the end of the year, but it may take more than a few months after TSMC's 45nm process is ready before either AMD or Nvidia begin selling graphics cards with 45nm GPUs. As Beyond3D points out, TSMC's 65nm process has been ready since May 2006, but no 65nm GPUs are being sold yet. AMD recently stated that it will launch mainstream 65nm GPUs this quarter along with its high-end R600 graphics processor.