As Intel kicks its Developer Forum into full swing, IBM has stolen some of its rival's thunder by announcing the world's first 22nm SRAM bit cell. EE Times says IBM's research wing developed the cell in collaboration with AMD, Freescale, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba, and the University of Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
The six-transistor cell measures only 0.1 μm², and IBM claims to have produced it using "conventional high-numerical-aperture immersion lithography" at its 300mm Albany, New York facility. By contrast, IBM had to use e-beam lithography—a technique too slow for mass-production—in order to make a 32nm SRAM cell back in 2004.
According to IBM's Mukesh Khare, this achievement proves that conventional architectures can scale down to 22nm. "Our gate lengths were less than 25 nanometers, which was considered impossible just a few years ago," Khare mentions. Don't expect AMD to start cranking out 22nm processors anytime soon, though. EE Times reports that the 22nm process tech is still a couple of generations away from commercialization.
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