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Intel establishing pilot plant to test 7nm manufacturing process

One of Intel's semiconductor fabrication plants. (Source: Oregon Live)
One of Intel's semiconductor fabrication plants. (Source: Oregon Live)
Intel has revealed its plans to pilot 7-nm semiconductor fabrication technologies. The pilot plant will work on perfecting the process over the next few years, and then replicate the process at its plants worldwide.
Douglas Black,
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During an earnings call last Thursday, Intel announced plans to establish a 7-nm pilot plant, where the company would explore the advanced manufacturing process. Intel's current chip platform, Kaby Lake, is built on a 14-nm process. The move to 7nm would allow significant increase in power efficiency and speed over current chips.

Moving beyond 14nm has proved to be quite a challenge for the semiconductor manufacturer. Broadwell, a shrink of the 22-nm Haswell design, was released in 2014. It was followed by Skylake in 2015 and Kaby Lake in 2016. Their upcoming chip, Cannonlake, which premiered at CES 2017, is built on a 10-nm process.

Intel doesn't plan on mass producing 7-nm chips for several years, but it will need a pilot plant first in order to solve issues with production and yield. The finalized production methods will then be replicated for large-scale production at other plants, where billions of chips will be made.

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Douglas Black
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 01 > Intel establishing pilot plant to test 7nm manufacturing process
Douglas Black, 2017-01-28 (Update: 2017-01-28)