Panelists here pointed out a number of reasons why 90-nanometers will be subject to delay, including pricey tools and photomasks and complexities related to power, mixed-signal IP, memory and design methodologies.I'm sure AMD and Intel would beg to differ. Both are working on 90-nm chips that are slated to debut well before 2005. In fact, a 90-nm version of AMD's Hammer processor, and Intel's 90-nm Prescott desktop and Dothan mobile chips may even be released before the end of 2003. Do AMD and Intel know something the article's sources don't, or has the processor market become so competitive that both are willing to do whatever it takes to get 90-nm chips out as soon as possible?
Moreover, there are a number of new problems cropping up at the 90-nm node that designers must learn to deal with, such as how to ensure that the chip is designed to produce acceptable yields. "Just as 130-nanometer was the harbinger to signal-integrity issues, 90-nanometer is the harbinger for design for manufacturability," said Ted Vucurevich, chief technology officer at Cadence Design Systems.