Intel 4 EUV process veil was taken off. Power consumption 40%↓ Performance up to 20%↑

Intel unveiled an overview of the Intel 4 process, which will be applied from next year at the IEEE VLSI Symposium, which has been held in Hawaii, USA on the 13th.

The Intel 4 process uses the EUV (extreme infrared) and is currently up to twice as much transistor accumulation compared to the Intel 7 process, which is currently applied to the 12th generation core processor, and up to 20%.

In particular, it is expected to contribute to the improvement of performance per watt, which will secure 21% higher operating clock and reduce power consumption by 40% compared to the Intel 7 process.

■ Intel that could not be used until the current Intel 7 process

Intel competitors, such as AMD and Apple, produced various processors using the 7nm process of Taiwan TSMC using EUV. Intel, on the other hand, did not use EUVs for production such as the current 12th generation core processor.

Pat Gelinger Intel CEO said in March last year, In the past, when Intel designed 10nm and 7nm process roadmaps, the EUV (extreme infrared) process was not mature. In the end, the 10nm process was also delayed.

■ Intel 4 process, power consumption up to 40% reduced compared to Intel 7

On the other hand, Intel 4, unveiled by Intel at the IEEE VLSI Symposium, uses the EUV for the production process.

As a result, when supplying the same voltage compared to the Intel 7 process used to manufacture 12th generation core processor (Elder Lake), the operating clock is up to 21.5% higher, and when the operating clock is the same, it uses less power.

Intel explains that transistors per unit area have also improved up to twice.

The current Intel 7 process allows you to embedded 80 million to 100 million transistors per square millimeters. According to Intel’s explanation, there are about 160 million transistor accumulation of products produced in Intel 4 processes, similar to 130 million of the TSMC 5nm (N5) process.

** ■ Production stage 5% simplification

Intel simplified the process by applying EUV etching technology to the overall Intel 4 process.

Intel produced the product by using DUV (Shimja UV) instead of the EUV until the Intel 7 process, using DUV (Multi-Patterning) on the schematics (multi-patterning) overlapping the schematic on the silicone wafer. Because of this, the product production process was complicated and if I failed at least once, I had to abandon the entire wafer.

However, with the application of the EUV etching technology to the Intel 4 process, the production stage of the Intel 7 process decreased by 5%, and the number of masks for carving semiconductor circuits by 20%. When the process becomes simpler, yield improves and mass production is possible.

■ Super MIM Capacitors’ capacity doubled

Intel doubled the capacity of capacitors and supermim capacitors, which were applied to the 11th generation core processor (Tiger Lake), which was released in September of the same year since the first release in 2020.

Super MIM capacitors are 0.1 nm thick in the upper part of the processor and capture the power supplied from the PC. When the internal transistor operates with high performance, it delivers the power to the transistor stably.

If the capacitor’s capacity increases, it can work more stably and extend time than when activating the turbo boost function that automatically increases the operating clock as needed.

■ Intel 4 The first product is ‘Meteorake’, which will be released in the second half of next year.

The first product to be produced in Intel 4 is Meteor Lake, a core processor that will be released in the second half of next year. Intel announced in April that Meteorake prototype succeeded in booting operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Google Chrome OS and Linux.

Meteorake is completed by combining a total of four tiles: computed tiles, graphic tiles (GPUs), SOC tiles, and I/O tiles for input and output. Among them, graphic tiles are consigned through TSMC in Taiwan.

His major production areas include Hillsbo-ro, Oregon, USA, where EUV equipment was introduced, and production facilities near Leslip, Ireland Killed, which is currently under construction by Intel.